af·​fa·​ble | \ˈa-fə-bəl \

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 \ noun
affably \-​blē \ adverb

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

Gruff but ultimately affable, with gray curls and an unkempt goatee, Erwin has the build and demeanor of a retired football player. Daniel Otis, Sunset, "Awe-Inspiring Canadian Rockies Camping Adventure," 22 Jan. 2018 Kyle Patterson’s ever affable Alberto, Molly Clementz’s perky Doralice, Phil Meyer’s hilarious Anselmo and Jessie Shulman’s sagaciously flirtatious Madama la Rose all convinced. Mark Swed,, "A little operatic help for newspapers: ‘La Gazzetta’ couldn't be better timed," 30 June 2018 He was described by those who knew him as an affable, generous man. David Mcfadden,, "Body of National Guardsman swept away in Maryland flooding is found," 29 May 2018 The son of a milkman and a waitress, Scruggs remains an affable man, charming and cynical, with dry sense of humor and a salesman’s persistence. Michael E. Ruane, Washington Post, "For the man behind the Vietnam Wall, the war’s worst moment did not come in combat," 28 May 2018 He was considered an affable consensus builder who wasn't afraid to buck the more conservative leanings of his own party. Greg Larose,, "Tom Schedler resigns as Louisiana secretary of state, amid sexual harassment allegations," 30 Apr. 2018 Through it all, the affable playmaker remained in contact with Heat coach Erik Spoelstra, leading to an opportunity in 2016 to become an assistant coach for the team's developmental-league affiliate, the G League Sioux Falls Skyforce. Ira Winderman,, "Anthony Carter still scrapping for Heat, this time in coach mode," 13 July 2018 Instead of taking up either family business, the affable Italian went into fashion with two friends, dreaming up a label that would give 50 percent of its proceeds to charity. Steff Yotka, Vogue, "Redemption Takes on Rock 'n' Roll at Its Parisian Couture Show," 9 July 2018 All at once the man with the 43 PGA Tour wins, including five major titles — the affable lefty who might be the most popular player with fans — became the guy whose unbecoming 13th-green meltdown at the U.S. Open was the talk of the weekend. Greg Cote, miamiherald, "Phil Mickelson's bizarre U.S. Open breach deserves forgiveness, not scorn. Here's why," 18 June 2018

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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Dictionary Entries near affable


a few bob





affaire d'amour

Statistics for affable

Last Updated

5 Dec 2018

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Time Traveler for affable

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

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More Definitions for affable



English Language Learners Definition of affable

: friendly and easy to talk to


af·​fa·​ble | \ˈa-fə-bəl \

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

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with affable

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for 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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a nest or breeding place

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