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

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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
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Recent Examples on the Web That was typical of the man who kept the common touch despite his fame and remained an affable character, fond of life’s simple pleasures. Rob Harris, BostonGlobe.com, "England World Cup winner Jack Charlton dies at 85," 11 July 2020 The masked man is softly spoken and has an affable look. New York Times, "RIvErS solomon," 10 July 2020 That affable Southern charm keeps visitors returning again and again. Devorah Lev-tov, Travel + Leisure, "The Top 15 Resort Hotels in the South," 8 July 2020 That was typical of the man who kept the common touch despite his fame and remained an affable character, fond of life’s simple pleasures. Washington Post, "Jack Charlton, member of England’s 1966 World Cup championship club, dies at 85," 4 Mar. 2019 The affable former Navy cryptologist almost immediately established himself among party leaders as the Republican candidate most likely to thread the needle and keep this sprawling, heavily Latino congressional swing district in GOP hands. Gilbert Garcia, ExpressNews.com, "Garcia: Cruz and Trump on opposite sides of congressional runoff battle," 4 July 2020 Soft-spoken, affable and Indiana's best wing defender, Holiday vowed to be more assertive off the floor. J. Michael, The Indianapolis Star, "Justin Holiday announces he will be with the Pacers for the rest of the season," 1 July 2020 The waiters in black tuxedos are on furlough, and the place is only open three days a week, but Peter Quartaroli, the managing partner, was on hand, masked like a bandit, but as affable and optimistic as ever. Carl Nolte, SFChronicle.com, "Without a tourist in sight, San Francisco is less lively," 27 June 2020 Garfinkel is sixty-three, bald, round, and jocular, with a dimpled chin and a folksy, affable manner. Ruth Margalit, The New Yorker, "In Search of King David’s Lost Empire," 22 June 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.

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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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Time Traveler for affable

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

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Last Updated

2 Aug 2020

Cite this Entry

“Affable.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/affable. Accessed 8 Aug. 2020.

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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

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More from Merriam-Webster on affable

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for affable

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with affable

Spanish Central: Translation of affable

Nglish: Translation of affable for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of affable for Arabic Speakers

Comments on affable

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