a. Warm and sincere; friendly: a cordial welcome; very cordial relations.
b. Polite and respectful; formally pleasant: "He shook my hand, but not warmly; he was cordial, but not amiable" (Oliver Sacks).
2. Strongly felt; fervent: a cordial abhorrence of waste.
3. Archaic Invigorating; stimulating. Used especially of a beverage.
1. A liqueur.
2. An invigorating or medicinal drink; a tonic.
[Middle English, of the heart, from Medieval Latin cordiālis, from Latin cor, cord-, heart; see kerd- in the Appendix of Indo-European roots.]
cor·diali·ty (-jălĭ-tē, -jē-ăl-, -dē-ăl-), cordial·ness n.
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2020 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.