[kawr-juhl or, esp. British, -dee-uhl]


courteous and gracious; friendly; warm: a cordial reception.
invigorating the heart; stimulating.
sincere; heartfelt: a cordial dislike.
Archaic. of or relating to the heart.


Origin of cordial

1350–1400; Middle English < Medieval Latin cordiālis, equivalent to Latin cordi- (stem of cor) heart + -ālis -al1
Related formscor·dial·ly, adverbcor·dial·ness, nounpre·cor·dial, adjectivequa·si-cor·dial, adjectivequa·si-cor·dial·ly, adverbsu·per·cor·dial, adjectivesu·per·cor·dial·ly, adverbsu·per·cor·dial·ness, nounun·cor·dial, adjectiveun·cor·dial·ly, adverbun·cor·dial·ness, noun

Synonyms for cordial

1. affectionate, genial. 2. cheering. Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for cordial

Contemporary Examples of cordial

Historical Examples of cordial

  • Our meeting, after mutual recognition, was affectionate and cordial.

    Biography of a Slave

    Charles Thompson

  • She smiled a cordial welcome to him, so he turned and changed his step to suit hers.

  • I fancy in the cordial excitement of the moment he was quite sincere.

    Ruggles of Red Gap

    Harry Leon Wilson

  • To-day the greeting between the two men was a cordial if a brief one.

    The First Violin

    Jessie Fothergill

  • The meeting was by appointment, however, and his greeting was cordial and hearty.

British Dictionary definitions for cordial



warm and friendlya cordial greeting
giving heart; stimulating


a drink with a fruit base, usually sold in concentrated form and diluted with water before being drunklime cordial
another word for liqueur
Derived Formscordially, adverbcordialness, noun

Word Origin for cordial

C14: from Medieval Latin cordiālis, from Latin cor heart
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 cordial

late 14c., "of the heart," from Middle French cordial, from Medieval Latin cordialis "of or for the heart," from Latin cor (genitive cordis) "heart" (see heart). Meaning "heartfelt, from the heart" is mid-15c. The noun is late 14c., originally "medicine, food, or drink that stimulates the heart." Related: Cordiality.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper