amiable, good-natured, obliging, complaisant mean having or manifesting the desire or disposition to please. All may refer either to moods or to temperaments.
Amiable usually implies friendliness, affability, or kindliness, qualities that inspire liking

from what he said of Miss Darcy, I was thoroughly prepared to see a proud, reserved, disagreeable girl. Yet he . . . must know that she was as amiable and unpretending as we have found her— Austen

Often, however, the word suggests little more than a sweet temper

preferred an amiable softness to a tragic intensity— Glasgow

Occasionally it additionally connotes lack of firmness or strength

she suddenly married a poor, good- for-nothing, amiable fellow— Deland

Good-natured implies a disposition not only to please but to be pleased; consequently it often connotes undue compliance or indifference to imposition

he was too good-natured a man to behave harshly— Macaulay


horseplay and practical jokes . . . at weddings . . . require good-natured toleration— Sumner

Obliging stresses a readiness to be helpful, or to accommodate to the wishes of others

Keppel had a sweet and obliging temper— Macaulay


he always had the courtesy to answer me, for he was a most obliging fellow— Keith

Complaisant implies a courteous or sometimes a weakly amiable desire to please or to be agreeable

her importunity prevailed with me and I am extremely glad I was so complaisantMontagu

Analogous words: *gracious, cordial, affable, genial: warmhearted, warm, responsive, *tender: kindly, *kind, benignant, benign
Antonyms: unamiable: surly
Contrasted words: ungracious, *rude, ill-
mannered, discourteous, impolite: *sullen, glum, morose, crabbed, dour

New Dictionary of Synonyms. 2014.


Look at other dictionaries:

  • amiable — [ amjabl ] adj. • 1402; « aimable » XIIe; bas lat. amicabilis 1 ♦ Dr. Qui a lieu ou agit par la voie de la conciliation, sans procédure judiciaire. Un partage amiable. Constat amiable : déclaration d accident de la circulation établie d un commun …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • amiable (à l') — ⇒AMIABLE (À L ), adj. et loc. I. Adjectif A. Vieilli, littér. [En parlant d une pers., d un trait hum.] Qui se comporte en ami, qui marque de l amitié. Accueil, paroles, propos amiables. Synon. affectueux, aimable, amical, doux, gracieux, etc. :… …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • amiable — AMIABLE. adj. des 2 g. Doux, gracieux. Accueil amiable. Parolesamiables. f♛/b] On appelle Amiable Compositeur, Celui qui accommode un différent par les voies de la douceur.[b]À l amiable. façon de parler adverbiale. Par la voie de la douceur,… …   Dictionnaire de l'Académie Française 1798

  • Amiable — A mi*a*ble, a. [F. amiable, L. amicabilis friendly, fr. amicus friend, fr. amare to love. The meaning has been influenced by F. aimable, L. amabilis lovable, fr. amare to love. Cf. {Amicable}, {Amorous}, {Amability}.] 1. Lovable; lovely; pleasing …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • amiable — Amiable. adj. de tout genre. Doux, gracieux. Il n est guere amiable. paroles amiables. On appelle, Amiable compositeur, Celuy qui accommode un differend par les voyes de la douceur. A l Amiable. adv. Par la voye de la douceur, sans procés, sans… …   Dictionnaire de l'Académie française

  • amiable — (adj.) mid 14c., from O.Fr. amiable, from L.L. amicabilis friendly, from amicus friend, related to amare to love (see AMY (Cf. Amy)). The form confused in Old French with amable lovable, from L. amare. Reborrowed later in proper Latin form as… …   Etymology dictionary

  • amiable — [ā′mē ə bəl] adj. [ME < OFr < LL amicabilis, friendly < L amicus, friend: confused with OFr amable, lovable < L amabilis, worthy of love; both from L amare, to love] 1. having a pleasant and friendly disposition; good natured 2. Obs.… …   English World dictionary

  • amiable — index amenable, amicable, benevolent, civil (polite), malleable, obeisant, peaceable Burton s Legal Thesauru …   Law dictionary

  • amiable — [adj] friendly, agreeable affable, amicable, attractive, benign, breezy, buddybuddy*, charming, cheerful, clubby*, complaisant, cool*, copacetic*, cordial, cozy, delightful, downright neighborly*, easy, engaging, friendly, genial, good humored,… …   New thesaurus

  • amiable — Amiable, Amabilis …   Thresor de la langue françoyse

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