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90s Slang You Should Know


[af-uh-buh l] /ˈæf ə bəl/
pleasantly easy to approach and to talk to; friendly; cordial; warmly polite:
an affable and courteous gentleman.
showing warmth and friendliness; benign; pleasant:
an affable smile.
Origin of affable
1530-40; < Latin affābilis that can be spoken to, courteous, equivalent to af- af- + fā- speak (see fate) + -bilis -ble, perhaps via Middle French
Related forms
affability, affableness, noun
affably, adverb
unaffable, adjective
unaffableness, noun
unaffably, adverb
Synonym Study
1. See civil. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for affability
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • "Perfectly," said Athos, taking leave of him with affability.

    Ten Years Later Alexandre Dumas, Pere
  • Why should only such as he know of those shocks to affability?

    Waiting for Daylight Henry Major Tomlinson
  • Charles the second, by his affability and politeness, made himself the idol of the nation, which he betrayed and sold.

  • He strolled in with a semi-professional air, and shook hands with affability.

    Vice Versa F. Anstey
  • Rudolf was highly popular with the peasantry, winning their hearts by his affability, simple habits, and kindly good-nature.

  • His affability, even to those whom he disliked, was unfailing.

    The Octopus Frank Norris
  • Reflectively, his Grace's good humour and affability had a favourable effect upon Jeanie's situation.

  • I asked, more puzzled than ever by this display of affability.

    A Bid for Fortune Guy Boothby
  • "It's the first Rosa night to-night," he said with august affability.

    The Ghost Arnold Bennett
British Dictionary definitions for affability


showing warmth and friendliness; kindly; mild; benign
easy to converse with; approachable; amicable
Derived Forms
affability, noun
affably, adverb
Word Origin
C16: from Latin affābilis easy to talk to, from affārī to talk to, from ad- to + fāri to speak; compare fable, fate
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for affability

late 15c., from Old French affabilité (14c.), noun of quality from affable (see affable).



late 15c., from Old French afable (14c.), from Latin affabilis "approachable, courteous, kind, friendly," literally "who can be (easily) spoken to," from affari "to speak to," from ad- "to" (see ad-) + fari "to speak" (see fame (n.)). Related: Affably.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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