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Amicable vs. Amiable — What's the Difference?

Edited by Tayyaba Rehman — By Fiza Rafique — Updated on October 10, 2023
Amicable refers to friendly relations, especially between parties in disagreement; Amiable describes a person's pleasant disposition.
Amicable vs. Amiable — What's the Difference?

Difference Between Amicable and Amiable


Key Differences

Amicable and Amiable are both adjectives that convey positive sentiments, but they have distinct usages. Amicable generally refers to the nature of relationships or agreements, particularly those that could be contentious but are instead handled in a friendly manner. For instance, two neighboring countries might have an amicable agreement over a shared resource. On the other hand, Amiable is used to describe someone's personality or disposition. An amiable person is friendly, pleasant, and easy to get along with.
While both words share the root of "amic-", suggesting friendship or goodwill, their applications in sentences diverge. An amicable divorce, for instance, implies that both parties reached an agreement without hostility. In contrast, describing someone as having an amiable nature means that they have a generally cheerful and friendly demeanor.
In relationships, Amicable doesn't necessarily mean close or warm, but rather without conflict. Two colleagues might have an amicable working relationship without being close friends. Amiable, however, implies a warmth and friendliness that is intrinsic to the individual. An amiable colleague is not just easy to work with, but also exudes warmth and kindness.
Amicable often comes into play in formal situations or discussions, especially when there's potential for disagreement. For example, business negotiations that conclude without disputes can be called amicable. Amiable, conversely, is more personal and is used to describe individuals rather than situations or agreements. An amiable host, for instance, would make guests feel welcomed and comfortable.

Comparison Chart


Friendly, especially in situations that could be contentious.
Having a pleasant and friendly disposition.


Describes relations/agreements.
Describes personalities.

Associated with

Situations or discussions.


"amicable agreement", "amicable settlement"
"amiable host", "amiable demeanor"

Nature of Relationship

Doesn’t necessarily imply closeness, just lack of conflict.
Implies a warmth and friendliness intrinsic to the individual.

Compare with Definitions


Friendly in nature, especially during disagreements.
The amicable talks prevented further conflicts.


Having a friendly and pleasant manner.
She had an amiable personality.


Peaceable, especially in potentially contentious situations.
They had an amicable split.


Good-natured and likable.
He was an amiable companion.


Characterized by goodwill and lack of animosity.
They reached an amicable solution.


Warm and approachable in character.
His amiable nature made him popular.


Without resentment or bitterness.
The siblings had an amicable relationship.


Affable and easy to get along with.
The teacher was amiable, making students feel at ease.


Harmonious, especially between parties or groups.
The two companies had an amicable merger.


Amiable (1891–1915) was a British Thoroughbred racehorse that won the 1894 Epsom Oaks and 1,000 Guineas Stakes despite having severe stringhalt in both hind limbs. Amiable raced until she was three years old, retiring in 1895 to the Duke of Portland's Welbeck Stud.


Characterized by friendliness and absence of discord
The meeting was relatively amicable
An amicable settlement of the dispute


Having or displaying a friendly and pleasant manner
The amiable young man greeted me enthusiastically


Characterized by or exhibiting friendliness or goodwill; friendly.


Friendly and agreeable in disposition; good-natured and likable.


Showing friendliness or goodwill.
They hoped to reach an amicable agreement.
He was an amicable fellow with an easy smile.


Cordial; sociable; congenial
An amiable gathering.


Friendly; proceeding from, or exhibiting, friendliness; after the manner of friends; peaceable; as, an amicable disposition, or arrangement.
That which was most remarkable in this contest was . . . the amicable manner in which it was managed.


Friendly; kind; sweet; gracious
An amiable temper
Amiable ideas


Characterized by friendship and good will


Of a pleasant and likeable nature; kind-hearted; easy to like
An amiable person


Lovable; lovely; pleasing.
So amiable a prospect.


Friendly; kindly; sweet; gracious; as, an amiable temper or mood; amiable ideas.


Possessing sweetness of disposition; having sweetness of temper, kind-heartedness, etc., which causes one to be liked; as, an amiable woman.


Done out of love.
Lay an amiable siege to the honesty of this Ford's wife.


Disposed to please;
An amiable villain with a cocky sidelong grin


Diffusing warmth and friendliness;
An affable smile
An amiable gathering
Cordial relations
A cordial greeting
A genial host


Kind-hearted and cordial.
She greeted everyone with an amiable smile.

Common Curiosities

Can "amiable" be used to describe a treaty between countries?

No, "amiable" describes individuals, not relations or agreements.

What's the root of both "amicable" and "amiable"?

Both share the root "amic-", suggesting friendship or goodwill.

If two people have a friendly breakup, is it amicable or amiable?

It is amicable.

Is "amicable" used to describe personalities?

No, "amicable" usually describes relations or agreements, not personalities.

Are "amicable" and "amiable" interchangeable?

No, they have distinct meanings and usages.

Can someone be described as having an "amicable personality"?

It's more appropriate to describe someone as having an "amiable personality."

Are there situations where both "amicable" and "amiable" can be used?

While both convey positivity, their specific contexts rarely overlap. It's crucial to consider the subject being described.

If someone is friendly to everyone they meet, are they amicable or amiable?

They are amiable.

What is the opposite of "amicable"?

The opposite of "amicable" could be "hostile" or "contentious."

Can a debate be described as "amiable"?

A debate is better described as "amicable" if it's friendly and without hostility.

Can you describe an event as "amiable"?

Generally, events aren't described as "amiable." However, the atmosphere or mood of an event could be described as friendly or warm, which is in line with "amiable." It's more common to use "amicable" for events or situations.

What is the opposite of "amiable"?

The opposite of "amiable" could be "unfriendly" or "ill-tempered."

Can a business agreement be described as "amiable"?

It's more appropriate to describe a business agreement as "amicable" if it's friendly and agreeable.

Do both "amicable" and "amiable" come from the same language origin?

Yes, both words have Latin origins, with "amicus" meaning "friend."

If two people get along well, is their relationship amicable or amiable?

Their relationship can be described as "amicable." One or both of the individuals can be described as "amiable."

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Author Spotlight

Written by
Fiza Rafique
Fiza Rafique is a skilled content writer at, where she meticulously refines and enhances written pieces. Drawing from her vast editorial expertise, Fiza ensures clarity, accuracy, and precision in every article. Passionate about language, she continually seeks to elevate the quality of content for readers worldwide.
Tayyaba Rehman is a distinguished writer, currently serving as a primary contributor to As a researcher in semantics and etymology, Tayyaba's passion for the complexity of languages and their distinctions has found a perfect home on the platform. Tayyaba delves into the intricacies of language, distinguishing between commonly confused words and phrases, thereby providing clarity for readers worldwide.

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