[ uh-fur-muh-tiv ]
/ əˈfɜr mə tɪv /




(used to indicate agreement, assent, etc.): “Is this the right way to Lake George?” “Affirmative.”

Nearby words

  1. affinity group,
  2. affirm,
  3. affirmance,
  4. affirmant,
  5. affirmation,
  6. affirmative action,
  7. affirmative flag,
  8. affirmatively,
  9. affirmatory,
  10. affix

Origin of affirmative

1400–50; < Latin affirmātīvus, equivalent to affirmāt- (see affirmation) + -īvus -ive; replacing late Middle English affirmatyff < Middle French < Latin

Related forms Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for affirmative

British Dictionary definitions for affirmative


/ (əˈfɜːmətɪv) /



sentence substitute

military a signal codeword used to express assent or confirmation
Derived Formsaffirmatively, adverb

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 affirmative



"answering 'yes,'" mid-15c., from use in logic; from Middle French affirmatif (13c.), from Latin affirmativus, from affirmat-, past participle stem of affirmare (see affirm). As a noun from early 15c. Affirmative action "positive or corrective effort by employers to prevent discrimination in hiring or promotion" is attested from 1935 with regard to labor unions; specific racial sense is from 1961; now often used more generally in reference to hiring quotas, etc.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper