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

Other Words from affable

affability \ ˌa-​fə-​ˈbi-​lə-​tē How to pronounce affable (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

Did you know?

Affable comes from Latin affārī, meaning "to speak to." Other fārī relatives—the word itself means "to speak"—are infant, fable, and fate, among others.

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.

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
Recent Examples on the Web The prime minister is affable and witty, a Falstaff with the common touch. Dominic Green, WSJ, 7 June 2022 Despite his affable personality and gruff coffeehouse croon, DeWyze lacked the undeniable spark and grit of Crystal Bowersox, the Janis Joplin incarnate who outrageously only placed second that season. Melissa Ruggieri, USA TODAY, 2 May 2022 Same for the affable service, and the banter at the counter that comes from staff knowing longtime customers. Washington Post, 29 Apr. 2022 The affable late night veteran earned the distinction for his latest children’s book with illustrator Miguel Ordoñez, Nana Loves You More, from Macmillan imprint Feiwel & Friends. Chris Gardner, The Hollywood Reporter, 29 Apr. 2022 Sarnoff proved to be affable and intelligent with a habit of furiously writing notes during meetings. Variety, 9 Apr. 2022 Trevor’s father, Billy Matthews, who works in finance, is affable and athletic. Andrew Solomon, The New Yorker, 4 Apr. 2022 In Will’s initial laugh, the weight of always needing to be affable, especially in white spaces, even when the joke’s on him. Eisa Nefertari Ulen, The Hollywood Reporter, 29 Mar. 2022 The two non-family players, the wondrously affable Gian Perez as Natalie’s classmate Henry and Katie Thompson as the alternately raucous and severe Drs. Christopher Arnott, Hartford Courant, 14 Apr. 2022 See More

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.

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

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

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Last Updated

16 Jun 2022

Cite this Entry

“Affable.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 27 Jun. 2022.

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More Definitions for affable


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

More from Merriam-Webster on affable

Nglish: Translation of affable for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of affable for Arabic Speakers


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