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Alternative forms[edit]


From Middle English comfortable, from Old French confortable, from conforter. See also comfort.


  • (General American, Canada)
    • enPR: kŭmf'təbl, kŭmf'tərbl, kŭm'fərtəbl, kŭm'fətəbl
    • IPA(key): /ˈkʌmf.tə.bəl/, /ˈkʌmf.təɹ.bəl/, /ˈkʌm.fəɹ.tə.bəl/, /ˈkʌm.fə.tə.bəl/
  • (file)
  • (Received Pronunciation)
    • enPR: kŭmf'təbl IPA(key): /ˈkʌmf.tə.bəl/, [ˈkʰʌɱf.tʰə̥.bɫ̩]
    • enPR: kŭm'fətəbl IPA(key): /ˈkʌm.fə.tə.bəl/
  • (New Zealand)
    • enPR: kŭmf'təbl
    • IPA(key): /ˈkɐmf.tɘ.bɘl/, [ˈkʰɐɱf.tɘ.bl̩], [ˈkʰɐɱ.fɾɘ.bɯ]


comfortable (comparative comfortabler or more comfortable, superlative comfortablest or most comfortable)

  1. Providing physical comfort and ease; agreeable. [from 18thc.]
    This is the most comfortable bed I've ever slept in.
    • 1913, Joseph C. Lincoln, chapter 8, in Mr. Pratt's Patients:
      We toted in the wood and got the fire going nice and comfortable. Lord James still set in one of the chairs and Applegate had cabbaged the other and was hugging the stove.
  2. In a state of comfort and content. [from 18thc.]
    What a great guestroom! I'll be quite comfortable here.
    • 1913, Mrs. [Marie] Belloc Lowndes, chapter I, in The Lodger, London: Methuen, OCLC 7780546; republished in Novels of Mystery: The Lodger; The Story of Ivy; What Really Happened, New York, N.Y.: Longmans, Green and Co., [], [1933], OCLC 2666860, page 0016:
      A great bargain also had been [] the arm-chair in which Bunting now sat forward, staring into the dull, small fire. In fact, that arm-chair had been an extravagance of Mrs. Bunting. She had wanted her husband to be comfortable after the day's work was done, and she had paid thirty-seven shillings for the chair.
  3. confident, relaxed, not worried about someone or something or to accept or like someone or something (used as to feel comfortable or to be comfortable with or about someone or something)
  4. Amply sufficient, satisfactory. [from 17thc.]
    A comfortable income should suffice to consider oneself rich.
    The home team is ahead by a comfortable margin.
    • 2011 September 18, Ben Dirs, “Rugby World Cup 2011: England 41-10 Georgia”, in BBC Sport:
      When Hape sauntered over for a try after only three minutes it looked as if England were destined for a comfortable victory, but Georgia are made of sterner stuff, as they showed when running Scotland close in Invercargill last week.
  5. (obsolete) Comforting, providing comfort; consolatory. [14th-19thc.]
    • 1624, Democritus Junior [pseudonym; Robert Burton], The Anatomy of Melancholy: [], 2nd edition, Oxford, Oxfordshire: Printed by John Lichfield and James Short, for Henry Cripps, OCLC 54573970, partition II, section 2, member 6, subsection ii:
      he was going to make away himself; but meeting by chance his master Plotinus, who, perceiving by his distracted looks all was not well, urged him to confess his grief; which when he had heard, he used such comfortable speeches, that he redeemed him e faucibus Erebi [].
    • 1699, John Dryden, Tales from Chaucer
      a comfortable provision made for their subsistence
  6. (obsolete) Strong; vigorous; valiant.
    (Can we find and add a quotation of Wyclif to this entry?)
  7. (obsolete) Serviceable; helpful.

Usage notes[edit]

Although the word comfortable looks (etymonically) like one of its senses could be synonymous with consolable, it does not have that sense; the absence of that sense is simply a lexical gap. In parallel, the same is true of comfortability and consolability, as well as uncomfortable and inconsolable.



Derived terms[edit]

Related terms[edit]


The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables, removing any numbers. Numbers do not necessarily match those in definitions. See instructions at Wiktionary:Entry layout § Translations.


comfortable (plural comfortables)

  1. (US) A stuffed or quilted coverlet for a bed; a comforter.

Middle English[edit]


From Old French confortable, from conforter; equivalent to comfort +‎ -able.



  1. comfortable
    • 1470–1483 (date produced), Thomas Malory, “[Launcelot and Guinevere]”, in Le Morte Darthur (British Library Additional Manuscript 59678), [England: s.n.], folio 449, recto:
      IN Maẏ whan eúý harte floryſhyth́ ⁊ burgruyth́ for as the ſeaſon ys luſty to be holde and comfortable ſo man and woman reioyſyth and gladith of ſom[er] cõmynge wt his freyſhe floures
      IN May, when every heart flourisheth and burgeneth; for as the season is lusty to behold, and comfortable, so man and woman rejoice and be glad of summer coming with his fresh flowers.


  • English: comfortable