verb af·ford \ə-ˈfȯrd\

Definition of afford

  1. transitive verb
  2. 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>

  3. 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>

Examples of afford in a sentence

  1. We were too poor to afford a doctor.

  2. He'll be able to afford a house next year.

  3. Don't spend more than you can afford.

  4. They couldn't afford new coats for the children.

  5. We can afford waiting a while longer.

  6. All of the rooms afford views of the lake.

  7. He was afforded the opportunity to work for a judge.

Origin and Etymology of afford

Middle English aforthen, from Old English geforthian to carry out, from ge-, perfective prefix + forthian to carry out, from forth — more at co-, forth

First Known Use: 14th century

Synonym Discussion of 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>.

AFFORD Defined for English Language Learners


verb af·ford \ə-ˈfȯrd\

Definition of afford for English Language Learners

  • : to be able to pay for (something)

  • : to be able to do (something) without having problems or being seriously harmed

  • : to supply or provide (something needed or wanted) to someone

AFFORD Defined for Kids


verb af·ford \ə-ˈfȯrd\

Definition of afford for Students



  1. 1 :  to be able to do or bear without serious harm <You cannot afford to waste your strength.>

  2. 2 :  to be able to pay for <I can't afford a new car.>

  3. 3 :  to supply or provide someone with <Tennis affords good exercise.>

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