afford

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English[edit]

Alternative forms[edit]

Etymology[edit]

From Middle English afforthen, aforthen, avorthien, from earlier iforthen, iforthien, ȝeforthien, from Old English forþian, ġeforþian (to further, accomplish, afford), from Proto-Germanic *furþōną, from Proto-Germanic *furþą (forth, forward), equivalent to a- +‎ forth. Cognate with Old Norse forða (to forward oneself, save oneself, escape danger), Icelandic forða (to save, rescue).

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.
  2. To offer, provide, or supply, as in selling, granting, expending, with profit, or without loss or too great injury.
    Alfred affords his goods cheaper than Bantock.
  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.
    • 1898, Winston Churchill, chapter 4, in The Celebrity:
      One morning I had been driven to the precarious refuge afforded by the steps of the inn, after rejecting offers from the Celebrity to join him in a variety of amusements. But even here I was not free from interruption, for he was seated on a horse-block below me, playing with a fox terrier.
    • 1960 June, “Motive Power Miscellany: Eastern Region”, in Trains Illustrated, page 376:
      The 2,800 h.p. Brush "Falcon" diesel-electric prototype Co-Co with two Bristol-Siddeley-Maybach high-speed engines will be afforded facilities for service trials on the G.N. main line when it makes its debut - in the autumn of this year, if construction proceeds according to schedule.
    • 2012 April 29, Nathan Rabin, “TV: Review: THE SIMPSONS (CLASSIC): “Treehouse of Horror III” (season 4, episode 5; originally aired 10/29/1992)”, in (Please provide the book title or journal name):
      Writing a “Treehouse of Horror” segment has to be both exhilarating and daunting. It’s exhilarating because it affords writers all the freedom in the world.

Usage notes[edit]

Derived terms[edit]

Translations[edit]

The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables, removing any numbers. Numbers do not necessarily match those in definitions. See instructions at Wiktionary:Entry layout § Translations.