Cordial Meaning: Here’s What It Means and How To Use It

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If you’re not particularly fond of the bitter taste of beer or the acidity in wine, you may want to consider a cordial. What exactly is a cordial, you ask? Don’t worry — we’ll tell you!

In this article, we’re exploring the word cordial to discover its definition, origin, synonyms, antonyms, and usage. We’ll also uncover these homonyms’ additional meanings to teach you all there is to know about our word of the day, cordial (/ˈkɔːr.dʒəl/ /ˈkɔː.di.əl/ ). 

What Is the Definition of Cordial?

According to the Britannica Dictionary, the noun cordial can be defined as liqueur, which is a strong, sweetened, aromatic drink made from fruit. 

Though the term was formerly used for only liquors that were believed to have a tonic or stimulating quality due to the medicinal elements of their flavorings, the terms cordial and liqueur are now used interchangeably.  

That said, our word of the day can also be used as an adjective that means friendly, but formal and polite. For example, think of things like a cordial relationship, a cordial welcome or cordial greeting, or even cordial relations. 

Additionally, as an adjective, cordial can be defined as fervent or strong — for example, a cordial abhorrence of waste. 

Though archaic at this point, when used as an adjective, cordial can also refer to something pertaining to the heart or stimulating to the heart. In this context, cordial is synonymous with words like reviving and invigorating.

Fun Fact: There is also a pop-rock duo based out of Sydney, Australia, named the Lime Cordiale. 

Which Words Were Formed From Cordial?

While on your journey to better understand the meaning behind our word of the day, you’re sure to run into a few related forms of cordial — and even a few words that were formed from cordial. 

These words are as follows:

  • Noun — su·per·cor·dial·ness
  • Adjective — qua·si-cor·dial
  • Noun — cor·dial·ness
  • Adjective — su·per·cor·dial
  • Adjective — pre·cor·dial
  • Adverb — cor·dial·ly
  • Noun — un·cor·dial·ness
  • Adjective — un·cor·dial

What Are the Synonyms and Antonyms of Cordial?

Whether you’re looking to better understand a new word or simply express yourself more clearly, knowing synonyms and antonyms can help. 

What Are Synonyms of Cordial?

In short, a synonym is a word or expression that has the same or nearly the same meaning as another word or expression. With this in mind, synonyms of cordial include:

  • Warm
  • Friendly 
  • Genial
  • Affable
  • Hearty
  • Welcoming
  • Affectionate
  • Amiable
  • Earnest
  • Palsy walsy
  • Buddy buddy
  • Red carpet
  • Hail fellow
  • Wordly wise
  • Well mannered
  • Smooth tongued
  • Fierce
  • Acute
  • Intense
  • Keen
  • Strong 
  • Smooth-talking
  • Fervent 
  • Silver-tongued
  • Soft-spoken
  • Bona fide
  • Full hearted
  • Upfront
  • Fair dinkum
  • Fine and dandy
  • Strife free
  • Non-violent
  • Conflict free
  • Fervid
  • Passionate
  • Perfervid 
  • Well behaved
  • Well mannered
  • In the know 
  • Alcoholic drink
  • Alcoholic beverage
  • Flavored drink
  • Hard drink
  • Wholehearted 
  • Profound 
  • Hard liquor
  • Mixed drink
  • Flavored drink
  • Fruit juice
  • Fruit nectar
  • Liqueur 
  • Juice drink
  • Vegetable juice 
  • Restorative drink
  • Shot in the arm
  • Pep pill
  • Hair of the dog
  • Stimulating substance
  • Invigorating
  • Suave
  • Urbane
  • Sophisticated 
  • Courtly
  • Affable
  • Cool
  • Mannerly
  • Worldly 
  • Tactful
  • Fulsom
  • Slick
  • Pleasing 
  • Restorative drink
  • Shot in the arm
  • Pick me up
  • Pep pill 

What Are Antonyms of Cordial?

In contrast to synonyms, an antonym is a word or expression with a meaning that is opposite of another word or expression. Antonyms of cordial include:

  • Unfriendly
  • Uncordial
  • Malicious
  • Adversary
  • Surly
  • Antipathetic
  • Unamicable
  • Warlike
  • Unaffable
  • Unneighborly
  • Indifferent
  • Stand-offish
  • Ill natured
  • Cold eyed 
  • Vengeful
  • Distant
  • Ill disposed
  • Cold-blooded
  • Icy
  • Hateful
  • Stern
  • Quarrelsome 
  • Mild 
  • Slight 
  • Light
  • Minor
  • Faint
  • Superficial
  • Vague
  • Feeble
  • Detrimental
  • Harmful
  • Boring
  • Discouraging
  • Boring 
  • Depressing
  • Dull 
  • Enervating
  • Tiring
  • Unstimulating
  • Hostile
  • Antagonistic
  • Bitter
  • Contentious 
  • Spiteful
  • Severe 

What Is the Etymology of Cordial?

First coined in c. 1400, the Middle English cordial is a derivative of both the Medieval Latin cordiālis and the Latin cor, meaning heart.

How Can You Use Cordial in a Sentence?

Now that you understand what cordial means, it’s time to put your newfound knowledge to the test. Take the next few minutes quizzing yourself to see how many sentences you can conjure up using our word of the day. 

To get you going, check out these sentence examples listed for you below:

“I’ve been afraid to tell my husband as it’s one of his favorite herbs to use, but I honestly have a cordial dislike for cilantro — it tastes just like soap to me!” 

“You have been nothing but gracious hosts, with such a cordial regard for our well-being. We simply can’t thank you enough as staying with your family has been the highlight of our holiday!” 

“After receiving such a cordial handshake, I knew we had picked the right lady for the job!” 

What Are Translations of Cordial?

Although cordial is an English word, the act of being warm and friendly (or cordial) is demonstrated all over the globe. 

With this in mind, here are some common translations of cordial:  

  • Afrikaans — hartlik
  • Arabic — ودية
  • Bulgarian — Сърдечно
  • Chinese (simplified) — 亲切
  • Croatian — srdačan
  • Czech — srdečný
  • Danish — Hjertelig
  • American English — cordial
  • Dutch — hartelijk
  • Finnish — sydämellinen
  • French — cordial
  • German — herzlich
  • Greek — εγκάρδιος
  • Italian — cordiale
  • Japanese — 篤い
  • Korean — 따뜻한
  • Norwegian — hjertelig
  • Polish — serdeczny
  • British English — cordial 
  • Portuguese — cordial
  • Russian — сердечный
  • Spanish — cordial
  • Swedish — hjärtlig
  • Thai — จริงใจ
  • Turkish — samimi
  • Ukrainian — сердечний


Essentially, our word of the day can be defined as showing warm and often hearty friendliness, favor, or approval. In other words, it means polite. 

In addition, the word cordial can also refer to a sweetened distilled spirit, which is usually flavored with a variety of fresh fruits, herbs, spices, and sometimes even nuts, coffee, and chocolate. 


cordial | liqueur | Britannica

CORDIAL | definition | Cambridge English Dictionary

Cordial definition and meaning | Collins English Dictionary