afford

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English[edit]

Alternative forms[edit]

Etymology[edit]

From Middle English aforthen, from Old English ġeforþian, forþian (to further, accomplish, afford), from forþ (forth, forward), equivalent to a- +‎ forth.

Pronunciation[edit]

Verb[edit]

afford (third-person singular simple present affords, present participle affording, simple past and past participle afforded)

  1. To incur, stand, or bear without serious detriment, as an act which might under other circumstances be injurious;—with an auxiliary, as can, could, might, etc.; to be able or rich enough.
    I think we can afford the extra hour it will take.  We can only afford to buy a small car at the moment.
    • 1915, Emerson Hough, The Purchase Price, Ch.I:
      “[…] We are engaged in a great work, a treatise on our river fortifications, perhaps? But since when did army officers afford the luxury of amanuenses in this simple republic? []
  2. To offer, provide, or supply, as in selling, granting, expending, with profit, or without loss or too great injury.
    A affords his goods cheaper than B.  A man can afford a sum yearly in charity.
  3. To give forth; to supply, yield, or produce as the natural result, fruit, or issue.
    Grapes afford wine.  Olives afford oil.  The earth affords fruit.  The sea affords an abundant supply of fish.
  4. To give, grant, or confer, with a remoter reference to its being the natural result; to provide; to furnish.
    A good life affords consolation in old age.

Usage notes[edit]

Derived terms[edit]

Translations[edit]

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