affable

adjective
af·​fa·​ble | \ ˈa-fə-bəl How to pronounce affable (audio) \

Definition of affable

1 : being pleasant and at ease in talking to others an affable host
2 : characterized by ease and friendliness an affable manner

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from affable

affability \ ˌa-​fə-​ˈbi-​lə-​tē How to pronounce affability (audio) \ noun

Choose the Right Synonym for affable

gracious, cordial, affable, genial, sociable mean markedly pleasant and easy in social intercourse. gracious implies courtesy and kindly consideration. the gracious award winner thanked her colleagues cordial stresses warmth and heartiness. our host was cordial as he greeted us affable implies easy approachability and readiness to respond pleasantly to conversation or requests or proposals. though wealthy, she was affable to all genial stresses cheerfulness and even joviality. a genial companion with a ready quip sociable suggests a genuine liking for the companionship of others. sociable people who enjoy entertaining

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."

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
See More
Recent Examples on the Web If anyone on Smøla knows Thule’s complex history, it’s this affable, exceptionally knowledgeable master mariner whose work has taken him across many of the same northern oceans traversed by Pytheas. F. Salazar, Smithsonian Magazine, "This Norwegian Island Claims to be the Fabled Land of Thule," 8 Sep. 2020 In a roundabout way, that overture of affable competence helps reinforce the seriousness of those threats. Brian Barrett, Wired, "Ransomware Has Gone Corporate. Where Will It End?," 26 Aug. 2020 The affable Walker also has tried his hand at coaching, working as an instructor for the Wes Walz Minnesota Wild Hockey School at the St. Louis Park Rec Center. Randy Johnson, Star Tribune, "Sammy Walker and the Gophers champing at the bit with start dates uncertain," 21 Aug. 2020 Sporting a white doctor’s coat and an affable smile, Reza Firoozabadi, the in-house pelvis expert at Harborview, uses a full-size skeleton model to show me where the pins were placed. Breanna Draxler, National Geographic, "A fall shattered his body. These medical marvels pieced him back together.," 21 Aug. 2020 Day, an affable Australian with 12 tour wins (including the 2015 PGA Championship), took full advantage. Ron Kroichick, ExpressNews.com, "GLF—PGA CHAMPIONSHIP 0807," 6 Aug. 2020 Sanders has an affable abrasiveness, while Ocasio-Cortez’s lectures are grating and contrived. Isaac Schorr, National Review, "On the First Night of the DNC, the Biden Focus Is Clear — but What Comes Next for Democrats?," 18 Aug. 2020 Spree recreates a fictional mass murder from start to finish, with the killer as eerily affable guide. Kate Knibbs, Wired, "Spree Is Nasty, Clever Satire for the Influencer Era," 12 Aug. 2020 According to town residents, Robert maintains a reserved but affable presence in Millbrook and its environs, using his financial largesse to support a number of local causes and small businesses. Matthew Kassel, Town & Country, "What to Know About Donald Trump's Brother Robert," 6 July 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'affable.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

See More

First Known Use of affable

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for affable

Middle English affabyl, borrowed from Anglo-French affable, borrowed from Latin affābilis, from affārī "to speak to, address" (from ad- ad- + fārī "to speak") + -bilis "capable of (being acted upon)" — more at ban entry 1, -able

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about affable

Time Traveler for affable

Time Traveler

The first known use of affable was in the 15th century

See more words from the same century

Listen to Our Podcast about affable

Statistics for affable

Last Updated

19 Sep 2020

Cite this Entry

“Affable.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/affable. Accessed 20 Sep. 2020.

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for affable

affable

adjective
How to pronounce affable (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of affable

formal : friendly and easy to talk to

affable

adjective
af·​fa·​ble | \ ˈa-fə-bəl How to pronounce affable (audio) \

Kids Definition of affable

: friendly and easy to talk to an affable talk show host

Other Words from affable

affably \ -​blē \ adverb

Keep scrolling for more

Comments on affable

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

WORD OF THE DAY

Test Your Vocabulary

Homophone Quiz

  • three bears two of them look like theyre whispering to a third bear who looks chuffed to be the center of attention
  • In order to judge how people felt, the senator's office hired a firm to take a ______.
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

TAKE THE QUIZ
Syn City

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

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!