Convivial vs congenial

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Convivial is an adjective used to describe something or someone as having to do with a good time, usually a large social event with lots of food and drink. Sometimes it is used to describe something as friendly, but in the sense that people are friendly over small talk at a party.

The noun form is conviviality and the adverb form is convivially.

The word comes from the Latin convivium for feast or banquet.

Congenial is an adjective used to describe something or someone as being liked because the object or person matches one’s own personality or interests. It is sometimes used to describe something or someone as friendly or pleasant, but in the sense that something is pleasant because it matches what the user likes.

The noun form is congeniality and the adverb form is congenially.


It was all very friendly and convivial; most of the chatter focused on the varied elements of beers consumed or found (and placed in cabinets at home, never to be opened). [Good Food]

One rather divergent reason for Kerr gaining media attention over more recent years was his efforts in going into the hotel business, where he has always been described as a convivial host. [Nottingham Post]

What makes Bradley’s so congenial, the regulars will tell you, is a mixture of the décor, big picture windows overlooking the passing parade, good coffee, a cheerful staff and the owner’s tolerance for idlers. [The New York Times]

Youssef said that the increased number of congenial visits as of late serves as “positive indicator” that negotiations may be going in the right track, despite claims by the militant’s that talks are non-existent. [The Daily Star]