affirm

verb
af·​firm | \ ə-ˈfərm How to pronounce affirm (audio) \
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 How to pronounce affirmable (audio) \ adjective
affirmance \ ə-​ˈfər-​mən(t)s How to pronounce affirmance (audio) \ 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 This commitment to affirming identity through correct pronouns and easy HRT was our reason for being. The Economist, "Gender identity is hard but jumping to medical solutions is worse," 3 Dec. 2019 Fowler affirmed that New Berlin residents aren't trying to stand in the way of that goal. Jim Riccioli, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "'Totally disrespected': New Berlin refuses to accept Waukesha's plan to build a pumping station in Minooka Park," 22 Nov. 2019 Arguably the cut of the season, the bob looks absolutely incredible on her, garnering more than a million likes and plenty of affirming comments from fans and fellow celebrities. Marci Robin, Allure, "Joey King Is the Latest Celebrity to Embrace Fall's Big Bob Trend," 24 Oct. 2019 The series’ international acclaim via Netflix has affirmed that Mandabach’s gamble was worth it. Sophie Gilbert, The Atlantic, "The American Sitcom Producer Gambling on British Television," 4 Oct. 2019 By arming clients with true informed consent, midwives are affirming clients in their choices throughout their pregnancy, labor, and postpartum. Tatyana Ali, Essence, "‘Birthright’: Tatyana Ali’s Heartfelt Essay On The Importance and Beauty Of A Black Woman’s Pregnancy Journey," 2 Oct. 2019 The court affirmed the FCC’s decision to repeal 1930s utility-style regulation of the Internet imposed by the prior Administration... Jon Brodkin, Ars Technica, "Ajit Pai wins (and loses) in court as net neutrality repeal is mostly upheld," 1 Oct. 2019 Our Labs affirmed that the GH Seal star resists rusting and fading, thanks to its aluminum frame and heavy fabric. Nicole Saporita, Good Housekeeping, "The House the Seal Built," 16 Sep. 2019 The geography of the Civil War is repeating itself, but this time with the American South affirming the promise of the Founding — that all men are created equal and endowed with unalienable rights, first among them a right to life. David French, National Review, "The South Is a Pro-Life Stronghold," 11 July 2019

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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Time Traveler for affirm

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for affirm

Last Updated

7 Dec 2019

Cite this Entry

“Affirm.” The Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/affirmance. Accessed 9 December 2019.

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More Definitions for affirm

affirm

verb
How to pronounce affirm (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of affirm

formal : to say that something is true in a confident way
formal : 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 How to pronounce affirm (audio) \
affirmed; affirming

Kids Definition of affirm

: to declare that something is true The man affirms that he is innocent.
af·​firm | \ ə-ˈfərm How to pronounce affirm (audio) \

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 How to pronounce affirmance (audio) \ noun
affirmation \ ˌa-​fər-​ˈmā-​shən How to pronounce affirmation (audio) \ noun

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More from Merriam-Webster on affirm

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for affirm

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with 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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