affirmative

adjective
af·​fir·​ma·​tive | \ ə-ˈfər-mə-tiv How to pronounce affirmative (audio) \

Definition of affirmative

 (Entry 1 of 2)

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

affirmative

noun

Definition of affirmative (Entry 2 of 2)

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
in the affirmative
: with an affirmative reply : with a reply that means "yes" He answered in the affirmative.

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Other Words from affirmative

Adjective

affirmatively adverb
responded affirmatively

Synonyms & Antonyms for affirmative

Synonyms: Noun

yea, yes

Antonyms: Noun

nay, negative, no, non placet

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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

Fortunately, most signs pointed to the affirmative during the tour stop on June 29 at the Shoreline Amphitheatre at Mountain View. Jim Harrington, The Mercury News, "Hootie and the Blowfish are still proving hipsters wrong in 2019," 30 June 2019 Conservatives, for decades, have spoken of the border as a place to fear, a place where the United States ends, but O’Rourke has made an affirmative case for the border as a place of beginnings, exchange, and richness. Eric Lach, The New Yorker, "Beto O’Rourke’s Spanish Moment at the Democratic Debate," 27 June 2019 The democratic, affirmative nature of television itself is what enables problems of access and representation to be solved. New York Times, "‘Late Night’ Review: Emma Thompson Takes On the Old Boys of Network TV," 5 June 2019 Commenting on the lawsuit against Harvard that has captured the attention of the nation, Feldman is doubtful that Harvard’s affirmative-action program is the reason why more Asian-Americans had not been admitted to the university. Noah Feldman, The New York Review of Books, "Arguing Affirmative Action," 7 Feb. 2019 In a decision known as Janus, the Supreme Court said that the First Amendment prevents unions from compelling public employees to pay dues without their affirmative consent. oregonlive.com, "3 Oregon school employees sue their union for not letting them drop out," 11 June 2019 The show ended on a note of feminine bonding — the abuser/rapist was dead, and the five women set aside their complicated rivalries and took affirmative walks together on the beach. Hank Stuever, Twin Cities, "‘Big Little Lies’ returns. This time with Meryl Streep.," 6 June 2019 Trump officials said that the Obama administration overstepped its authority by going beyond what the Supreme Court has said in affirmative-action cases. Nick Anderson, Washington Post, "Trump administration moves to rescind Obama-era guidance on race in admissions," 3 July 2018 Why aren’t Democrats and the business community making an affirmative case for a steady legal immigration? Eric Johnson, Recode, "American capitalism broke in the 1980s. Can it be fixed?," 7 Nov. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Use liberally the affirmatives Yes, ma’am and Yes, sir, having grown up under threat of a stiff switch. Melissa Lyttle, Smithsonian, "The First Family of Rodeo," 13 Dec. 2017

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

Adjective

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 4

Noun

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for affirmative

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

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Statistics for affirmative

Last Updated

9 Jul 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for affirmative

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

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More Definitions for affirmative

affirmative

adjective

English Language Learners Definition of affirmative

formal : saying or showing that the answer is "yes" rather than "no"

affirmative

adjective
af·​fir·​ma·​tive | \ ə-ˈfər-mə-tiv How to pronounce affirmative (audio) \

Kids Definition of affirmative

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : saying or showing that the answer is "yes" He gave an affirmative answer.
2 : being positive or helpful Take an affirmative approach to the problem.

affirmative

noun

Kids Definition of affirmative (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : an expression (as the word yes) of agreement
2 : the side that supports or votes for something

affirmative

adjective
af·​fir·​ma·​tive | \ ə-ˈfər-mə-tiv How to pronounce affirmative (audio) \

Legal Definition of affirmative

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

Other Words from affirmative

affirmatively adverb

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Comments on affirmative

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characterized by aphorism

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