af·​fir·​ma·​tion | \ ˌa-fər-ˈmā-shən How to pronounce affirmation (audio) \

Definition of affirmation

1a : the act of affirming nodded his head in affirmation
b : something affirmed : a positive assertion His memoir is a reflective affirmation of family love.
2 law : a solemn declaration made under the penalties of perjury by a person who conscientiously declines taking an oath

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Examples of affirmation in a Sentence

a sworn affirmation that he had never acted as a spy for the enemy
Recent Examples on the Web The rush of affirmation can be giddy, and addictive. New York Times, "We Worked Together on the Internet. Last Week, He Stormed the Capitol.," 10 Jan. 2021 In the military, it's seen soberly as an affirmation of the need to more effectively organize for the defense of U.S. interests in space — especially satellites used for civilian and military navigation, intelligence and communication. Robert Burns, Star Tribune, "Biden seen likely to keep Space Force, a Trump favorite," 27 Jan. 2021 But the result was also an affirmation of the country’s capacity for renewal. Rahm Emanuel, WSJ, "Biden’s Win for the American System," 28 Dec. 2020 By migrating instead to Palm Beach, Fla., Trump plans to inhabit an alternate reality of adoration and affirmation. Anchorage Daily News, "Trump to flee Washington and seek refuge in a MAGA oasis: Florida," 17 Jan. 2021 The eye contact, body language affirmation and repetitive act of physically sharing a space with like-minded people just aren’t as powerful through a screen, treatment providers acknowledge. San Diego Union-Tribune, "Drug deaths were already climbing at the beginning of 2020. Then the pandemic hit," 28 Nov. 2020 The artists Kardulis chose to paint each letter obliged with messages of affirmation and strength. Susan Dunne,, "Street mural in Windsor aims to unify community in fight against racism," 13 Nov. 2020 There are going to be young artists waiting for their moment to be in front of an audience, and to get that affirmation that feeds the fire to keep going, and that opportunity may not exist. Jeff Slate, WSJ, "Jeff Tweedy on Covid-19—and its Impact on Live Music," 15 Dec. 2020 My main recommendation is to be curious about other people's perspectives, to focus on communication and not affirmation. Ryan Prior, CNN, "How to harness brain science for a better life, explained by a neuroscientist," 30 Dec. 2020

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

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for affirmation

Middle English affirmacioun, borrowed from Anglo-French affirmation, affermacion, borrowed from Latin affirmātiōn-, affirmātiō, from affirmāre "to affirm" + -tiōn-, -tiō, suffix of action nouns

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Time Traveler for affirmation

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for affirmation

Last Updated

23 Feb 2021

Cite this Entry

“Affirmation.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 3 Mar. 2021.

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More Definitions for affirmation


af·​fir·​ma·​tion | \ ˌa-fər-ˈmā-shən How to pronounce affirmation (audio) \

Kids Definition of affirmation

: an act of saying or showing that something is true They nodded their heads in affirmation.

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