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 Supreme Court voted 7-0 to affirm signature errors found in ballot petitions submitted by his campaign. Spencer Neale, Washington Examiner, "Kanye West thrown off Ohio presidential ballot after signature petitions deemed illegitimate," 10 Sep. 2020 There Erpenbeck has the temerity to affirm the humanity of contemporary refugees — in particular the families coming across the Rio Grande. John Domini, Washington Post, "In ‘Not a Novel,’ Jenny Erpenbeck continues to evolve," 8 Sep. 2020 On the one hand, some schools are spending a lot of time responding to the Black Lives Matter protests and working to affirm their students' value: renaming buildings, taking down statues -- expanding empathy. Leah Asmelash And Brandon Tensley, CNN, "The hypocrisy of bringing college students back to campus," 22 Aug. 2020 The letter implicitly asks Washington to affirm that the views of the promise of the new nation held by Seixas and the congregation were correct. John Berlau, National Review, "When George Washington Met Moses," 13 Aug. 2020 Only the writer’s truthful lies can mirror the liar’s petty ones with the clear sight needed to affirm the intensity of her past. Merve Emre, The Atlantic, "Elena Ferrante’s Master Class on Deceit," 8 Aug. 2020 Locally, Jamison says, return rates of pets and what his field officers see on the streets affirm the research. Sharon Grigsby, Dallas News, "I once called ‘Clear the Shelters’ a feel-good gimmick. Here’s what changed my mind," 6 Aug. 2020 This book pairs beautiful photographic portraits with clear poetic language describing an array of skin colors, hair textures and eye colors that affirm and celebrate the rich diversity of Black children. Smithsonian Magazine, "Twelve Books to Help Children Understand Race, Anti-Racism and Protest," 11 June 2020 Washington did indeed affirm this in a letter replying to the congregation dated one day later. John Berlau, National Review, "When George Washington Met Moses," 13 Aug. 2020

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

13 Sep 2020

Cite this Entry

“Affirm.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/affirm. Accessed 24 Sep. 2020.

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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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Comments on affirm

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