Word of the Day: May 12, 2023
What It Means
- Cordial means “politely pleasant and friendly.” It also means “showing or marked by warm and often hearty friendliness, favor, or approval” and “sincerely or deeply felt.”
- // Despite past conflicts, the two nations now maintain cordial relations.
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CORDIAL In Context
“On the way out, there were profuse thank-yous and cordial comments about future get-togethers, which never occurred.” — Peter Bart, Deadline, 16 Mar. 2023
Did You Know?
The Latin root cord- (or cor) is at the heart of the connection between cordial, concord (meaning “harmony”), and discord (meaning “conflict”). Cord- means “heart,” and each of these cord- descendants has something to do with the heart, at least figuratively. Concord, which comes from com- (meaning “together” or “with”) plus -cord, suggests that one heart is with another. Discord combines the prefix dis- (meaning “apart”) with -cord to imply that hearts are apart. Hundreds of years ago, cordial could mean simply “of or relating to the (literal) heart” (the -ial is simply an adjective suffix) but today anything described as cordial—be it a friendly welcome, a compliment, or an agreement—comes from the heart in a figurative sense. Cordial is also used as a noun to refer to a usually sweet liqueur, the name being inspired by the idea that a cordial invigorates the heart.