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[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. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for affably
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • "I am sorry we are going to part, gentlemen," he said, affably.

    Australia Revenged Boomerang
  • “I am glad that you have a friend in him,” said Mrs. Winthrop affably.

    David Dunne

    Belle Kanaris Maniates
  • "Do not be shy of me, monsieur," she encouraged him affably.

    Fort Amity Arthur Thomas Quiller-Couch
  • "Perfectly all right, Mr. Oak," the blond young man said affably.

    A Spaceship Named McGuire Gordon Randall Garrett
  • The lady stared at him steadfastly and smiled to him affably and serenely.

    Foma Gordyeff Maxim Gorky
  • "If I can tell you anything about the country I shall be glad," said Weil, affably.

    A Black Adonis

    Linn Boyd Porter
  • "Charlie, you are neglecting a part of your duty," he observed to Drouet most affably.

    Sister Carrie Theodore Dreiser
  • "I think I'll come up and sit nearer to you," says Tommy, affably.

    April's Lady Margaret Wolfe Hungerford
British Dictionary definitions for affably


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 affably



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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