af·​ford | \ ə-ˈfȯrd How to pronounce afford (audio) \
afforded; affording; affords

Definition of afford

transitive verb

1a : to manage to bear without serious detriment You can't afford to neglect your health.
b : to be able to bear the cost of can't afford to be out of work long
2 : to make available, give forth, or provide naturally or inevitably The sun affords warmth to the earth. a delay that will afford us more time

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Synonyms for afford


go, swing

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Choose the Right Synonym for afford

give, present, donate, bestow, confer, afford mean to convey to another as a possession. give, the general term, is applicable to any passing over of anything by any means. give alms gave her a ride on a pony give my love to your mother present carries a note of formality and ceremony. present an award donate is likely to imply a publicized giving (as to charity). donate a piano to the orphanage bestow implies the conveying of something as a gift and may suggest condescension on the part of the giver. bestow unwanted advice confer implies a gracious giving (as of a favor or honor). confer an honorary degree afford implies a giving or bestowing usually as a natural or legitimate consequence of the character of the giver. the trees afford shade a development that affords us some hope

Examples of afford in a Sentence

We were too poor to afford a doctor. He'll be able to afford a house next year. Don't spend more than you can afford. They couldn't afford new coats for the children. We can afford waiting a while longer. All of the rooms afford views of the lake. He was afforded the opportunity to work for a judge.
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Recent Examples on the Web

But Dishotsky says the model can be both profitable and help solve the region’s housing crisis by targeting the young workers who are struggling to afford to live in the region. J.k. Dineen,, "Co-living tower in SoMa could usher in wave of innovative housing projects," 6 July 2019 Los Angeles residents need to earn nearly $50 an hour just to afford the median monthly rent of $2,471, according to the California Housing Partnership Coalition. Jamie Yuccas, CBS News, ""There's no way out of this": More than 60,000 people now homeless in Los Angeles County," 5 July 2019 Along with the legs-for-days moment afforded by her abbreviated hemline, Teigen secured a set of oversize hoops that furthered the seasonal fun factor. Calin Van Paris, Vogue, "Chrissy Teigen’s New Waist-Skimming Waves Are Made for Summer," 27 June 2019 The funds can enable survivors to afford therapy, help with medical bills, or provide reimbursement for lost work time, as well as acknowledge pain and suffering. Mary Pilon, Fortune, "'How Much Is a Little Girl Worth?': The Painful Financial Fallout of the Larry Nassar Case," 27 June 2019 The ability to afford your prescriptions and go to a primary care provider, to be -- the ability to see a mental health care provider. Tom Benning, Dallas News, "All 3,520 words spoken by Julián Castro and Beto O'Rourke at first Democratic presidential debate," 27 June 2019 There is also a surge in interest in farming among 20- and 30-somethings looking for ways to afford their own land in a state where real estate prices for prime agricultural property are sky high. Gregory B. Hladky,, "Connecticut’s Farming Landscape Continues To Evolve," 25 June 2019 This #ORLeg has been a total disregard for how Oregonians will continue to afford to live, work, and raise a family here., "Oregon Republican senators walkout: What you need to know today," 23 June 2019 An Arizona renter with a minimum-wage job must now work 71 hours to afford a modest two-bedroom home, according to a report released Tuesday by the National Low Income Housing Coalition. Alden Woods, azcentral, "You need to work 71 hours a week to afford a 2-bedroom home in Arizona, a new report says," 19 June 2019

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

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for afford

respelling (after Latin borrowings with initial aff-) of Middle English iforthen, aforthen, going back to Old English geforðian "to send out, promote, carry out," from ge-, perfective prefix + forðian "to send out, promote," verbal derivative of forþ "forth, forward" — more at co-, forth entry 1

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Statistics for afford

Last Updated

9 Jul 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for afford

The first known use of afford was in the 14th century

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More Definitions for afford



English Language Learners Definition of afford

: to be able to pay for (something)
: to be able to do (something) without having problems or being seriously harmed
formal : to supply or provide (something needed or wanted) to someone


af·​ford | \ ə-ˈfȯrd How to pronounce afford (audio) \
afforded; affording

Kids Definition of afford

1 : to be able to do or bear without serious harm You cannot afford to waste your strength.
2 : to be able to pay for I can't afford a new car.
3 : to supply or provide someone with Tennis affords good exercise.

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More from Merriam-Webster on afford

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for afford

Spanish Central: Translation of afford

Nglish: Translation of afford for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of afford for Arabic Speakers

Comments on afford

What made you want to look up afford? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


appealing forcibly to the mind or reason

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