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 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

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 The president has held affable meetings with Republican senators, only to opt for bills that could be passed without them. Los Angeles Times, "Column: How do Biden’s first 100 days in office compare with Trump’s?," 25 Apr. 2021 Hundreds showed up at the pre-fight news conference to root for the 36-year-old Miami native, sometimes even interrupting questions and answers, and then waited in a long line to get a socially distant picture with the affable fighter. Mark Long, orlandosentinel.com, "UFC returns to Florida with fans, Usman-Masvidal rematch," 24 Apr. 2021 The Indiana forward accomplished a possible NBA first by getting into a skirmish with the Spurs’ Patty Mills, a player so affable as to make the Snuggle fabric softener bear seem like a grouch. Jeff Mcdonald, San Antonio Express-News, "San Antonio Spurs show fight in more ways than one against Indiana Pacers," 20 Apr. 2021 In their latest, Brockhampton has become more affable without sacrificing their edge. Mankaprr Conteh, Rolling Stone, "Brockhampton Process Pain and Get Closer to Pop on ‘Roadrunner: New Light, New Machine’," 9 Apr. 2021 The tenor saxophone virtuoso Lester Young (Tyler James Williams ), a formidable force in his own right and an essential part of Billie’s musical and personal life over several decades, appears to be a mostly affable, overgrown kid. Joe Morgenstern, WSJ, "‘The United States vs. Billie Holiday’ Review: Singer in Their Sights," 25 Feb. 2021 Taylor, despite the drama, remains the relentlessly affable, eager-to-please charmer who rose so absurdly quickly through the ranks of staffers in Washington. Washington Post, "Miles Taylor spoke out against Trump as ‘Anonymous.’ Now he’s gone public and is hiding out.," 1 Dec. 2020 Kepnes has mastered the likable villain with Joe, crafting an affable character with rock-solid reasoning behind all of his horrific actions — at least in his own mind. Brenna Ehrlich, Rolling Stone, "Caroline Kepnes, Author of ‘You Love Me,’ on Killer Joe’s Next Chapter," 12 Apr. 2021 Jim Broadbent adds a bit of life and joy as an affable bus driver. Lindsey Bahr, Detroit Free Press, "Thriller ‘Six Minutes to Midnight’ unfolds at a pro-Nazi boarding school," 26 Mar. 2021

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

29 Apr 2021

Cite this Entry

“Affable.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/affable. Accessed 10 May. 2021.

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More Definitions for affable

affable

adjective

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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Comments on affable

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