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
affably \ -​blē How to pronounce affably (audio) \ 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

Don Regan was an affable yet aggressive former Merrill Lynch chief executive who served President Ronald Reagan as Secretary of the Treasury and then White House Chief of Staff. Peter Grier, The Christian Science Monitor, "With tell-all, Comey joins club of ex-officials turned scribes," 13 Apr. 2018 Both she and Spears (according to the #FreeBritney movement, that is) are confined to the expectations the world has for women in pop: to be affable, beautiful, likable, calm, and, above all, malleable. Christopher Rosa, Glamour, "All Miley Cyrus' Black Mirror Episode Makes Me Think About Is Britney Spears," 6 June 2019 The other son is laid back and affable and has seemingly relinquished his place at the table after clashing with a senior executive. Claire Atkinson, NBC News, "HBO's "Succession" party arrives just in time for real-life media intrigue," 23 May 2018 Brown has reasons to mix blunt words with his typically positive and affable demeanor. Aaron Beard, The Seattle Times, "UNC’s Brown pushing for more from Tar Heels in spring drills," 29 Mar. 2019 The traditional-looking sitcom plays up James' good looks and affable nature and the couple's dorky rituals, like recording unnecessarily elaborate musical answering machine messages and their general awkwardness around the superstar. Gil Kaufman, Billboard, "Get a First Look at Harry Styles-Produced Sitcom 'Happy Together'," 17 May 2018 He was considered hardworking and affable, the kind of man who coached his kids’ sports teams and helped out his elderly neighbors and others who needed him. Ruth Padawer, New York Times, "Should Statutes of Limitations for Rape Be Abolished?," 19 June 2018 On the West Bank they are led by the affable but unreliable Mr. Abbas, who is 83 and in the 14th year of his four-year term, continues to propagate base anti-Semitism. Daniel J. Arbess, WSJ, "Is Trump Following a Grand Mideast Strategy?," 5 June 2018 Hardworking and affable, Immelt was 6-foot-4 with a mane of graying hair swept back from the temples. Thomas Gryta And Ted Mann, WSJ, "GE Powered the American Century—Then It Burned Out," 14 Dec. 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

afernan

a few bob

aff

affable

affableness

affair

affaire d'amour

Statistics for affable

Last Updated

4 Jul 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for affable

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

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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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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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