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

  • adj. Of or relating to a condition that is present at birth, as a result of either heredity or environmental influences: a congenital heart defect; congenital syphilis.
  • adj. Being or having an essential characteristic as if by nature; inherent or inveterate: "the congenital American optimism that denies conflicts and imagines all stories having happy endings” ( Robert J. Samuelson). See Synonyms at innate.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • adj. Present since birth.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • adj. Existing at, or dating from, birth; pertaining to one from birth; born with one; connate; constitutional; natural. See connate and native.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • Produced or existing at birth; innate; native: as, congenital disease; congenital deformity.

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

  • adj. present at birth but not necessarily hereditary; acquired during fetal development


From Latin congenitus : com-, com- + genitus, born, past participle of gignere, to bear; see genə- in Indo-European roots.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)



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