affirm

verb
af·​firm | \ə-ˈfərm \
affirmed; affirming; affirms

Definition of affirm 

transitive verb

1a : validate, confirm He was affirmed as a candidate.

b : to state positively He affirmed his innocence.

2 : to assert (something, such as a judgment or decree) as valid or confirmed The court affirmed his conviction.

3 : to show or express a strong belief in or dedication to (something, such as an important idea) laws affirming the racial equality of all people

intransitive verb

1 : to testify or declare by affirmation (see affirmation sense 2) as distinguished from swearing an oath

2 : to uphold a judgment or decree of a lower court

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Other Words from affirm

affirmable \ə-​ˈfər-​mə-​bəl \ adjective
affirmance \ə-​ˈfər-​mən(t)s \ noun

Choose the Right Synonym for affirm

assert, declare, affirm, protest, avow mean to state positively usually in anticipation of denial or objection. assert implies stating confidently without need for proof or regard for evidence. asserted that modern music is just noise declare stresses open or public statement. declared her support for the candidate affirm implies conviction based on evidence, experience, or faith. affirmed the existence of an afterlife protest emphasizes affirming in the face of denial or doubt. protested that he really had been misquoted avow stresses frank declaration and acknowledgment of personal responsibility for what is declared. avowed that all investors would be repaid in full

Examples of affirm in a Sentence

We cannot affirm that this painting is genuine. They neither affirmed nor denied their guilt. laws affirming the racial equality of all peoples They continued to affirm their religious beliefs. The decision was affirmed by a higher court.
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Recent Examples on the Web

For example, Democrats keep talking about how far away the caravan of would-be migrants is, rather than simply affirming that several thousand people ought not to overrun the borders of the United States. James Freeman, WSJ, "Americans Aren’t Just Happy about the Economy," 5 Nov. 2018 The White House later backtracked from his claim that Saudi Arabia had agreed to the request, but not without affirming that the kingdom had 2m b/d of spare capacity. The Economist, "The American president is stirring up trouble in a volatile oil market," 4 July 2018 So this is an inefficiency — why should someone need to come forward in a crisis scenarios for a company to take the time to affirm its values? Tom Alexander, chicagotribune.com, "Five things you can do to improve diversity and inclusion at your company today, like right now, this moment," 5 July 2018 In 1992, Kennedy voted to affirm Roe in Planned Parenthood v. Casey. Lisa Ryan, The Cut, "What Justice Kennedy’s Supreme Court Retirement Means for Abortion Rights," 27 June 2018 Critics of Trump’s ban had urged the justices to affirm the decisions in lower courts that generally concluded that the changes made to the travel policy did not erase the ban’s legal problems. Mark Sherman, The Seattle Times, "High court OKs Trump’s travel ban, rejects Muslim bias claim," 26 June 2018 Both McGahn and Kavanaugh also sought to portray the judge's lengthy record – including more than 300 opinions, roughly a dozen of which were affirmed by the Supreme Court – as a benefit rather than a potential stumbling block. Author: Ashley Parker, Robert Costa, Anchorage Daily News, "‘All a little misdirection’: Inside Trump’s sometimes-wavering decision to nominate Kavanaugh," 11 July 2018 Under a federal consent decree, the children would have to be released from detention within 20 days, a protection that was affirmed Monday night when a federal judge in Los Angeles rejected the Trump administration’s request to hold minors longer. Maria Sacchetti, Washington Post, "Some children are returned to parents, but judge tells Trump officials to move faster," 10 July 2018 In 2010, Judge Hardiman ruled that jails can strip-search every arrestee police bring them, a decision the Supreme Court affirmed in 2012—in a 5-4 opinion written by Justice Kennedy. Jess Bravin, WSJ, "Who Are the Supreme Court Contenders?," 8 July 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'affirm.' 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 affirm

14th century, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1a

History and Etymology for affirm

alteration (conformed to Latin affirmāre) of Middle English affermen "to fix firmly, make steadfast, establish, confirm, assert," borrowed from Anglo-French afermer, affermer, going back to Latin affirmāre "to strengthen, confirm, assert positively," from ad- ad- + firmāre "to strengthen, fortify," derivative of firmus "strong, durable, firm entry 1"

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Statistics for affirm

Last Updated

23 Nov 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for affirm

The first known use of affirm was in the 14th century

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More Definitions for affirm

affirm

verb

English Language Learners Definition of affirm

: to say that something is true in a confident way

: to show a strong belief in or dedication to (something, such as an important idea)

law : to decide that the judgment of another court is correct

affirm

verb
af·​firm | \ə-ˈfərm \
affirmed; affirming

Kids Definition of affirm

: to declare that something is true The man affirms that he is innocent.

af·​firm | \ə-ˈfərm \

Legal Definition of affirm 

1 : to assert as true or factual

2 : to assert (as a judgment) as valid or confirmed affirmed the lower court's ruling — compare remand, reverse

intransitive verb

1 : to make a solemn declaration under the penalties of perjury in place of swearing an oath to which one conscientiously objects

2 : to uphold the judgment or actions of a lower court the appeals court affirmed

Other Words from affirm

affirmance \ə-​ˈfər-​məns \ noun
affirmation \ˌa-​fər-​ˈmā-​shən \ noun

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More from Merriam-Webster on affirm

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with affirm

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for affirm

Spanish Central: Translation of affirm

Nglish: Translation of affirm for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of affirm for Arabic Speakers

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