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How would an English-speaking person explain the difference between amiable and amicable? Which is the more friendly?

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up vote 4 down vote accepted

Neither is “more friendly”. They aren’t the same, nor are they usually applied to the same situation.

  • People are called amiable if they are kindly souls with a friendly and good-natured disposition.
  • Arrangements are called amicable if they are settled with mutual goodwill and without adversarial friction.
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Got it! thanks. Googled a bit more (which is what I should have done in the first place) and found this: "A group might have an amicable meeting, because the people there are amiable." – user48348 Jul 23 '13 at 16:24
+1. Since the asker is Swedish, I might add that ‘amiable’ = vänlig, whereas ‘amicable’ = vänskaplig in Swedish. – Janus Bahs Jacquet Jul 23 '13 at 16:24
In order to make the answer more strong, why don't you add a last sentence saying "So, 'amiable' applies to person while 'amicable' to relations between person"? – user19148 Jul 23 '13 at 22:03

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