affable was our Word of the Day on 03/05/2017. Hear the podcast!
Examples of affable in a sentence
Bertie's a bright, affable fellow, but every little success he has feels cheapened in comparison with his dad's overpowering accomplishments. —Lev Grossman, Time, 7 Feb. 2005
In repose, he can be affable and quite funny. But woe betide anyone who crosses him or who fails to perform to his demanding standards. —Anthony Bianco et al., Business Week, 9 Sept. 2002
The owner emerged from a galley kitchen … to explain that the restaurant was supposed to be closed. This roly-poly man with graying locks above a noble, high forehead was affable and articulate, not your average short-order cook. —John Krich, San Francisco Examiner, 21 Aug. 1994
a lively, affable young fellow
as the show's affable host, she keeps the freewheeling gabfest from getting out of hand
The Gender of an affable Personality?
One of the peculiarities of the English language is that ungendered words (especially nouns) may occasionally take gendered pronouns or modifiers. A ship, for example, is often called "she." We also find that some general-purpose words (especially adjectives) tend to be used of one sex rather than the other. Such is the case with affable, which our records show is far more likely to be used to describe a man than a woman. This should not be taken as evidence that men are friendlier or easier to speak with (nor should you shy away from describing a woman as affable), but it does serve to illustrate the manner in which the word is often used.
Did You Know?
Affable is one of several English words that evolved from the Latin verb fari, which means "to speak." "Affable" comes from the Latin affabilis, which comes from the "fari" relative "affari" ("to speak to"), plus -abilis, meaning "able." Some other "fari" derivatives are "infant," "fable," and "fate." "Infant" comes from the Latin infans, which means "incapable of speech" and combines in- and fans, the present participle of "fari." "Fable" comes from the Latin fabula, a "fari" offspring that means "conversation." "Fate" comes from the Latin word fatum, meaning "what has been spoken and deriving from "fatus," a past participle of "fari."
Origin and Etymology of affable
Middle English affabyl, from Anglo-French, from Latin affabilis, from affari to speak to, from ad- + fari to speak — more at ban
First Known Use: 15th century
Synonym Discussion of affable
AFFABLE Defined for English Language Learners
Definition of affable for English Language Learners
: friendly and easy to talk to
AFFABLE Defined for Kids
Definition of affable for Students
: friendly and easy to talk to an affable talk show host
Seen and Heard
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