[af-uh-buh l]
See more synonyms for affable on
  1. pleasantly easy to approach and to talk to; friendly; cordial; warmly polite: an affable and courteous gentleman.
  2. 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 formsaf·fa·bil·i·ty, af·fa·ble·ness, nounaf·fa·bly, adverbun·af·fa·ble, adjectiveun·af·fa·ble·ness, nounun·af·fa·bly, adverb

Synonym study

1. See civil. Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for affably

Contemporary Examples of affably

Historical Examples of affably

  • "I am sorry we are going to part, gentlemen," he said, affably.

  • “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

British Dictionary definitions for affably


  1. showing warmth and friendliness; kindly; mild; benign
  2. easy to converse with; approachable; amicable
Derived Formsaffability, nounaffably, adverb

Word Origin for affable

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

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