[kuh n-jen-i-tl]


of or relating to a condition present at birth, whether inherited or caused by the environment, especially the uterine environment.
having by nature a specified character: a congenital fool.

Origin of congenital

1790–1800; < Latin congenit(us) connate (con- con- + geni-, variant stem of gignere to give birth + -tus past participle suffix) + -al1
Related formscon·gen·i·tal·ly, adverbcon·gen·i·tal·ness, nounnon·con·gen·i·tal, adjective

Synonyms for congenital

1. See innate. Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

British Dictionary definitions for congenital



denoting or relating to any nonhereditary condition, esp an abnormal condition, existing at birthcongenital blindness
informal complete, as if from birtha congenital idiot
Derived Formscongenitally, adverbcongenitalness, noun

Word Origin for congenital

C18: from Latin congenitus born together with, from genitus born, from gignere to bear, beget
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for congenital

"existing from birth," 1796, from Latin congenitus, from com- "together, with" (see com-) + genitus, past participle of gignere "to beget" (see genus). The sense formerly belonged to congenial. Related: Congenitally.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Medicine definitions for congenital




Existing at or before birth usually through heredity, as a disorder.
Acquired at birth or during uterine development, usually as a result of environmental influences.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.

Science definitions for congenital



Existing at or before birth, as a defect or medical condition.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

Culture definitions for congenital



A descriptive term for a disease or condition that is present at birth. A congenital disease can be either hereditary or acquired.

The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.