affable

adjective
af·​fa·​ble | \ ˈa-fə-bəl How to pronounce affable (audio) \

Definition of affable

1 : being pleasant and at ease in talking to others an affable host
2 : characterized by ease and friendliness an affable manner

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Other Words from affable

affability \ ˌa-​fə-​ˈbi-​lə-​tē How to pronounce affable (audio) \ noun

Choose the Right Synonym for affable

gracious, cordial, affable, genial, sociable mean markedly pleasant and easy in social intercourse. gracious implies courtesy and kindly consideration. the gracious award winner thanked her colleagues cordial stresses warmth and heartiness. our host was cordial as he greeted us affable implies easy approachability and readiness to respond pleasantly to conversation or requests or proposals. though wealthy, she was affable to all genial stresses cheerfulness and even joviality. a genial companion with a ready quip sociable suggests a genuine liking for the companionship of others. sociable people who enjoy entertaining

The Gender of an affable Personality?

One of the peculiarities of the English language is that ungendered words (especially nouns) may occasionally take gendered pronouns or modifiers. A ship, for example, is often called "she." We also find that some general-purpose words (especially adjectives) tend to be used of one sex rather than the other. Such is the case with affable, which our records show is far more likely to be used to describe a man than a woman. This should not be taken as evidence that men are friendlier or easier to speak with (nor should you shy away from describing a woman as affable), but it does serve to illustrate the manner in which the word is often used.

Did you know?

Affable is one of several English words that evolved from the Latin verb fari, which means "to speak." "Affable" comes from the Latin affabilis, which comes from the "fari" relative "affari" ("to speak to"), plus -abilis, meaning "able." Some other "fari" derivatives are "infant," "fable," and "fate." "Infant" comes from the Latin infans, which means "incapable of speech" and combines in- and fans, the present participle of "fari." "Fable" comes from the Latin fabula, a "fari" offspring that means "conversation." "Fate" comes from the Latin word fatum, meaning "what has been spoken and deriving from "fatus," a past participle of "fari."

Examples of affable in a Sentence

Bertie's a bright, affable fellow, but every little success he has feels cheapened in comparison with his dad's overpowering accomplishments. — Lev Grossman, Time, 7 Feb. 2005 In repose, he can be affable and quite funny. But woe betide anyone who crosses him or who fails to perform to his demanding standards. — Anthony Bianco et al., Business Week, 9 Sept. 2002 The owner emerged from a galley kitchen … to explain that the restaurant was supposed to be closed. This roly-poly man with graying locks above a noble, high forehead was affable and articulate, not your average short-order cook. — John Krich, San Francisco Examiner, 21 Aug. 1994 a lively, affable young fellow as the show's affable host, she keeps the freewheeling gabfest from getting out of hand
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Recent Examples on the Web Woodby, whose son once took surfing lessons from Coleman, says that the 40-year-old surf instructor was affable, pleasant and very good with his students. Steve Helling, PEOPLE.com, 13 Aug. 2021 And on subsequent official visits, the queen and members of that family were remarkably affable, including responding to polite greetings. Judith Martin, Washington Post, 28 June 2021 In China, different means teachers not primarily (or at all) focused on patriotic education, like VIPKid tutor Tim Gascoigne, an affable Canadian who runs the Online Teacher Dude channel on YouTube. Ryan Craig, Forbes, 17 Sep. 2021 The film follows a young woman named Brigid (Beanie Feldstein), who moves into a rundown Chinatown apartment in New York with her affable boyfriend, Richard (Steven Yeun). Patrick Ryan, USA TODAY, 13 Sep. 2021 Intense and affable, Schleier-Smith has an infectious enthusiasm for her work, as her student Bentsen discovered. Quanta Magazine, 7 Sep. 2021 But Walsh, an earnest and affable person with a background in data analytics, believed his models had the potential to come closer than most to discerning its shape. Will Stephenson, Harper's Magazine, 20 July 2021 You’ll be welcomed by an affable staff, and comfortable seating affords great views from any section. Roger Sands, Forbes, 1 Sep. 2021 Alessandro, his son, is an affable, somewhat rumpled onscreen presence. Daniel Lombroso, The New Yorker, 1 Sep. 2021

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

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for affable

Middle English affabyl, borrowed from Anglo-French affable, borrowed from Latin affābilis, from affārī "to speak to, address" (from ad- ad- + fārī "to speak") + -bilis "capable of (being acted upon)" — more at ban entry 1, -able

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Time Traveler for affable

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The first known use of affable was in the 15th century

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Dictionary Entries Near affable

aff

affable

affableness

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Last Updated

14 Oct 2021

Cite this Entry

“Affable.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/affable. Accessed 23 Oct. 2021.

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More Definitions for affable

affable

adjective

English Language Learners Definition of affable

: friendly and easy to talk to

affable

adjective
af·​fa·​ble | \ ˈa-fə-bəl How to pronounce affable (audio) \

Kids Definition of affable

: friendly and easy to talk to an affable talk show host

Other Words from affable

affably \ -​blē \ adverb

More from Merriam-Webster on affable

Nglish: Translation of affable for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of affable for Arabic Speakers

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