Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • adj. Having a pleasant or friendly disposition or manner. See Synonyms at gracious.
  • adj. Conducive to life, growth, or comfort; mild: "the genial sunshine . . . saturating his miserable body with its warmth” ( Jack London).
  • adj. Obsolete Relating to or marked by genius.
  • adj. Obsolete Of or relating to marriage; nuptial.
  • adj. Of or relating to the chin.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • adj. friendly and cheerful
  • adj. pleasantly mild and warm
  • adj. marked by genius

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • adj. Same as genian.
  • adj. Contributing to, or concerned in, propagation or production; generative; procreative; productive.
  • adj. Contributing to, and sympathizing with, the enjoyment of life; sympathetically cheerful and cheering; jovial and inspiring joy or happiness; exciting pleasure and sympathy; enlivening; kindly.
  • adj. Belonging to one's genius or natural character; native; natural; inborn.
  • adj. Denoting or marked with genius; belonging to the higher nature.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • Pertaining to marriage; nuptial; hence, pertaining to generation; generative.
  • Native; natural; innate.
  • Giving spirit or life; enlivening; warming; comforting; contributing to life and cheerfulness; supporting life.
  • Of a social spirit; cordial in disposition and manner; kindly; sympathetically cheerful.
  • Relating to or exhibiting genius.
  • Synonyms Cheering, inspiriting.
  • Hearty, pleasant.
  • In anatomy, pertaining to the chin; situated on the chin; mental.
  • n. One of the dermal plates or scutes of the chin of reptiles.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • adj. diffusing warmth and friendliness
  • adj. agreeable, conducive to comfort
  • adj. of or relating to the chin or median part of the lower jaw

Etymologies

Latin geniālis, festive, from genius, spirit of festivity.
From Greek geneion, chin, from genus, jaw.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Latin geniālis ("of or pertaining to marriage; festive, genial"), from genius ("guardian spirit") + -ālis. (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • But with his old history professor Henry Adams and other friends, Lodge was known as a genial host, and, when political bêtes noires did not rear their fractious heads, he could work considerable charm as a guest.

    The Five of Hearts

  • “You know,” he said to Eeyore, gearing up to his lecture in genial conversational tones.

    always a hot topic! « Magic Lantern Arts

  • Opening his eyes again he saw Davey Davidson standing by the bed, his expression genial, carrying a basket of I fruit.

    two women

  • There was a certain genial tenderness in this atmosphere that even in the hottest day of August the eastern coast never knows.

    In Seven Stages: A Flying Trip Around the World

  • A very extended landscape, however genial, is also sober in its effect on the mind.

    Queechy

  • And in this area, Mr. Kishun, who emigrated from Guyana in the 1980s, won the nickname Uncle Jerry as a term of genial respect.

    NYT > Home Page

  • Leisure, saunterings through the great balmy pine forest, luxurious explorations of shadowy glens and valleys, full of exquisite varieties of wild flowers; the warm, dry, delicious climate which invited him to take his dolce far niente under the boughs of murmuring trees, outstretched upon a couch of brown pineneedles, as elastic as it was odorous, all promised to bring back his poetical enthusiasm, and to set in genial motion the half frozen springs of his invention and fancy.

    The Poems of Henry Timrod.

  • Smith is known as a genial campaigner who has historically run ahead of the rest of the Republican ticket.

    Report: Dems Searching For Candidate To Take Out Gordon Smith

  • You could say, for example, that Schwarzenegger is genial, which is what people said about Reagan, but you could never say that that is his dominant characteristic.

    I Feel Earthquakes More Often Than They Happen

  • This might paradoxically be called a genial ghost-and-murder story, yet humor and humanity again dominate, and the most striking element is the touching love story of an unsuccessful man.

    The Squirrel-Cage

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  • In German 'awesome', 'terrific', 'nifty'.

    January 9, 2008