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 The 11th Circuit Court of Appeals upheld that decision and affirmed that breastfeeding is a medical condition protected under the federal Pregnancy Discrimination Act. Anna Claire Vollers | Avollers@al.com, al, "Fired for having a baby? Alabama is OK with that," 1 Oct. 2019 Avoiding worse droughts, floods, fires, and food shortages requires extreme changes to industry (notably, as the second report affirms, to farming), to energy, to transportation, to building, to everything basically. Soraya Roberts, Longreads, "Grow Up," 29 Sep. 2019 The ruling affirms a lower court’s finding that ensuring people weren’t wrongfully removed from the rolls was more important than the state’s desire to remove those registered in other states. cleveland.com, "Would the USMCA trade deal help farmers?: The Flyover," 28 Aug. 2019 Reached at a phone number listed to Florida Communication Concepts’ president, Timothy N. Hicks, a man who answered the phone affirmed that his name was Tim, but hung up after a reporter identified himself. Ron Hurtibise, sun-sentinel.com, "Who’s to blame for the Fort Lauderdale water main break?," 18 July 2019 The message outlined the central tenets of Islam and affirmed that terrorism and violence have no place in the religion. Kristin E. Holmes, Philly.com, "Philly-based Templeton Foundation awards $1.45 million religion prize to Jordan's King Abdullah II," 26 June 2018 Such statistics reflect a long-running tension in public housing: how to balance quality and quantity, the need to build as many units as possible versus the desire to make those units safe, sanitary and, at best, life-affirming? Blair Kamin, chicagotribune.com, "Column: Chicago shows how public housing and libraries can coexist and be visually stunning. Now we need more of them.," 22 Aug. 2019 In 1964, the lower court’s ruling in Butterworth v. Dempsey was affirmed by the U.S. Supreme Court, and the state was ordered to redraw the districts. Anne M. Hamilton, courant.com, "Extraordinary Life: During a long lifetime of exploring and speaking up, Mims Butterworth had a simple philosophy: ‘always say yes’," 21 July 2019 Thankfully, the rapper seems refreshingly unfazed, posting his most life-affirming fit pic yet in June, posed against a rack of brightly colored tulle dresses with a rainbow flag across his chest in support of Pride. Chioma Nnadi, Vogue, "This Was the Decade That Hip-Hop Style Got Femme," 18 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

23 Nov 2019

Cite this Entry

“Affirm.” The Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/affirmed. Accessed 5 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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