Quantcast
Merriam-Webster Logo
  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
  • Medical
  • Scrabble
  • Spanish Central
  • Learner's Dictionary

affirm

play
verb af·firm \ə-ˈfərm\

Simple Definition of affirm

  • : to say that something is true in a confident way

  • : to show a strong belief in or dedication to (something, such as an important idea)

  • law : to decide that the judgment of another court is correct

Full Definition of affirm

  1. transitive verb
  2. 1 a :  validate, confirm b :  to state positively <he affirmed his innocence>

  3. 2 :  to assert (as a judgment or decree) as valid or confirmed

  4. 3 :  to express dedication to <affirm life>

  5. intransitive verb
  6. 1 :  to testify or declare by affirmation as distinguished from swearing an oath

  7. 2 :  to uphold a judgment or decree of a lower court

af·firm·ableplay \ə-ˈfər-mə-bəl\ adjective
af·fir·manceplay \ə-ˈfər-mən(t)s\ noun

Examples of affirm

  1. We cannot affirm that this painting is genuine.

  2. They neither affirmed nor denied their guilt.

  3. laws affirming the racial equality of all peoples

  4. They continued to affirm their religious beliefs.

  5. The decision was affirmed by a higher court.



Origin of affirm

Middle English affermen, from Anglo-French afermer, from Latin affirmare, from ad- + firmare to make firm, from firmus firm — more at firm


First Known Use: 14th century

Synonym Discussion of affirm

assert, declare, affirm, protest, avow mean to state positively usually in anticipation of denial or objection. assert implies stating confidently without need for proof or regard for evidence <asserted that modern music is just noise>. declare stresses open or public statement <declared her support for the candidate>. affirm implies conviction based on evidence, experience, or faith <affirmed the existence of an afterlife>. protest emphasizes affirming in the face of denial or doubt <protested that he really had been misquoted>. avow stresses frank declaration and acknowledgment of personal responsibility for what is declared <avowed that all investors would be repaid in full>.


Seen and Heard

What made you want to look up affirm? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

February 13, 2016

a trying or distressing experience

Get Word of the Day daily email!

WORD GAMES

Take a 3-minute break and test your skills!

image33683556

How much does a batman (the Turkish unit of measurement) weigh?

100 pounds 196.5 pounds 16.96 pounds 2.2 pounds
Name That Thing

10 quick questions: hear them, spell them, and see how your skills compare to the crowd.

TAKE THE QUIZ
SCRABBLE® Sprint

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ