affordance

noun
af·​for·​dance | \ ə-ˈfȯr-dᵊn(t)s How to pronounce affordance (audio) \
plural affordances

Definition of affordance

: the quality or property of an object that defines its possible uses or makes clear how it can or should be used We sit or stand on a chair because those affordances are fairly obvious.— Scott Lafee An affordance is a resource or support that the environment offers an animal; the animal in turn must possess the capabilities to perceive it and to use it.— Eleanor J. Gibson et al.

First Known Use of affordance

1966, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for affordance

afford + -ance

Note: As a term in the study of cognition introduced by the American psychologist James J. Gibson (1904-79) in The Senses Considered as Perceptual Systems (Boston, 1966) and later essays.

Learn More About affordance

Time Traveler for affordance

Time Traveler

The first known use of affordance was in 1966

See more words from the same year

Dictionary Entries Near affordance

affordable

affordance

afforestation

See More Nearby Entries 

Statistics for affordance

Cite this Entry

“Affordance.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/affordance. Accessed 25 May. 2022.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

More from Merriam-Webster on affordance

Nglish: Translation of affordance for Spanish Speakers

WORD OF THE DAY

Test Your Vocabulary

Name That Food

  • a-light
  • Name these cookies!
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

TAKE THE QUIZ
Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!