[ kawr-juhl or, especially British, -dee-uhl ]
/ ˈkɔr dʒəl or, especially British, -di əl /
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See synonyms for: cordial / cordials / cordially / cordialness on Thesaurus.com

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


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Origin of cordial

First recorded in 1350–1400; Middle English, from Medieval Latin cordiālis, equivalent to Latin cordi- (stem of cor ) “heart” + -ālis adjective suffix; see heart, -al1


Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023


What does cordial mean?

Cordial means friendly and polite.

It used to describe people and their behavior toward others in social situations, especially when they do not know each other well.

When you treat people cordially, you treat them with a sincere friendliness and warmth. A cordial greeting is a warm and friendly one, especially one intended to make someone feel welcome.

The quality of being cordial is cordiality.

Cordial can also be used as a noun meaning a sweetened liquor (more commonly called a liqueur) or a kind of nonalcoholic fruit-based drink, like lime cordial. 

Example: My parents were always very cordial and welcoming when I brought new friends home. 

Where does cordial come from?

The first records of the word cordial come from the 1300s. It comes from the Medieval Latin word cordiālis, from the Latin cor, meaning “heart.”

Less common meanings of cordial include “heartfelt” (as in sincere) and “giving heart” (as in stimulating). But cordial is most commonly used to mean warm and friendly in a way that’s from the heart. Someone who’s described as cordial is probably interacting with someone whom they don’t know very well—since it’s usually a given that you’re warm and friendly with people who are already your friends.

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What are some other forms related to cordial?

What are some synonyms for cordial?

What are some words that share a root or word element with cordial

What are some words that often get used in discussing cordial?

Try using cordial!

Cordial is most commonly used to describe someone who is being sincerely friendly to a person who they don’t know too well, even a person they don’t like.



How is cordial used in real life?

Which of the following words is an antonym (opposite) of cordial?

A. amicable
B. warm
C. happy
D. rude

How to use cordial in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for cordial

/ (ˈkɔːdɪəl) /

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 forms of cordial

cordially, 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