affirmative

1 of 2

adjective

af·​fir·​ma·​tive ə-ˈfər-mə-tiv How to pronounce affirmative (audio)
1
: asserting that the fact is so
gave an affirmative answer
affirmative proof
2
: positive
an affirmative approach
3
: favoring or supporting a proposition or motion
an affirmative vote
was on the affirmative side in the debate
4
logic : asserting a predicate of a subject
affirmatively adverb
responded affirmatively

affirmative

2 of 2

noun

1
: an expression (such as the word yes) of affirmation or assent
2
: the side that upholds the proposition stated in a debate
3
logic : an affirmative (see affirmative entry 1 sense 4) proposition
Phrases
in the affirmative
: with an affirmative reply : with a reply that means "yes"
He answered in the affirmative.

Examples of affirmative in a Sentence

Adjective She gave an affirmative answer, not a negative answer. Noun we have five affirmatives and two negatives for forming the committee
Recent Examples on the Web
Adjective
Be sure the question is answered in the affirmative if such a discount was taken. Bob Carlson, Forbes, 16 Feb. 2024 The Yes Bus is the umbrella for all of Jayne and Perez’s creative endeavors, named for their creative philosophy of affirmative collaboration. Rebecca Sun, The Hollywood Reporter, 24 Jan. 2024 Trump turned to look at those who answered in the affirmative. Peter Charalambous, ABC News, 16 Jan. 2024 In addition to needing an affirmative vote from people within their district — the current requirement — other agencies would also need countywide voter approval. Michael Smolens, San Diego Union-Tribune, 12 Nov. 2023 The rapper replied affirmative to all of them, including Mexico and Ireland, except for North Korea. Emily Zemler, Rolling Stone, 20 Oct. 2023 Yet affirmative efforts to remedy women’s underrepresentation may be legally challenged as discriminatory. Jeannie Suk Gersen, The New Yorker, 8 Dec. 2023 So, there's an affirmative responsibility that of course our universities have, but also our cities and others. CBS News, 3 Dec. 2023 After speaking with about a dozen diversity practitioners, consultants, and organizations that support people of Jewish ancestry, the consensus was indefatigably in the affirmative. Ruth Umoh, Fortune, 22 Nov. 2023
Noun
The weather might not have been the best, but for anyone looking for reassurance that Mardi Gras was going to stay weird in 2023, the evening provided an energetic affirmative. al, 11 Feb. 2023 The answer, to my mind, is a resounding affirmative. Arthur Knight, The Hollywood Reporter, 14 Aug. 2022 Shortly after, Gomez herself responded with a resounding affirmative. Hannah Dailey, Billboard, 16 May 2022 Use liberally the affirmatives Yes, ma’am and Yes, sir, having grown up under threat of a stiff switch. Melissa Lyttle, Smithsonian, 13 Dec. 2017 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'affirmative.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

Etymology

Adjective

Middle English, borrowed from Anglo-French affirmatif, borrowed from Late Latin affirmātīvus, from Latin affirmātus (past participle of affirmāre "to affirm") + -īvus -ive

Noun

Middle English, borrowed from Anglo-French affirmatif, noun derivative of affirmatif affirmative entry 1

First Known Use

Adjective

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 4

Noun

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of affirmative was in the 15th century

Dictionary Entries Near affirmative

Cite this Entry

“Affirmative.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/affirmative. Accessed 26 Feb. 2024.

Kids Definition

affirmative

1 of 2 adjective
af·​fir·​ma·​tive ə-ˈfər-mət-iv How to pronounce affirmative (audio)
1
: declaring that the fact is so
gave an affirmative answer
2
: being positive or helpful
take an affirmative approach
affirmatively adverb

affirmative

2 of 2 noun
1
: an expression (as the word yes) of agreement
2
: the affirmative side in a debate or vote

Legal Definition

affirmative

adjective
af·​fir·​ma·​tive ə-ˈfər-mə-tiv How to pronounce affirmative (audio)
1
: asserting the existence of certain facts especially in support of a cause of action
affirmative proof
2
: resulting from an intentional act
affirmative concealment
3
: involving or requiring application of effort
an affirmative duty
4
: favoring or supporting a proposition or motion
an affirmative vote
affirmatively adverb

More from Merriam-Webster on affirmative

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