View synonyms for afford


[ uh-fawrd ]

verb (used with object)

  1. to be able to do, manage, or bear without serious consequence or adverse effect:

    The country can't afford another drought.

  2. to be able to meet the expense of; have or be able to spare the price of:

    Can we afford a trip to Europe this year? The city can easily afford to repair the street.

  3. to be able to give or spare:

    He can't afford the loss of a day.

  4. The transaction afforded him a good profit.

  5. to be capable of yielding or providing:

    The records afford no explanation.

  6. to give or confer upon:

    to afford great pleasure to someone.


/ əˈfɔːd /


  1. preceded bycan, could, etc to be able to do or spare something, esp without incurring financial difficulties or without risk of undesirable consequences

    I can afford to give you one of my chess sets

    we can't afford to miss this play

    we can afford to buy a small house

  2. to give, yield, or supply

    the meeting afforded much useful information

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Derived Forms

  • afˌfordaˈbility, noun
  • afˈfordable, adjective

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Word History and Origins

Origin of afford1

First recorded before 1050; Middle English aforthen, iforthen, Old English geforthian “to further, accomplish,” equivalent to ge- y- + forth forth + -ian infinitive suffix

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Word History and Origins

Origin of afford1

Old English geforthian to further, promote, from forth forth ; the Old English prefix ge- was later reduced to a-, and the modern spelling (C16) is influenced by words beginning aff-

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Example Sentences

The equal protection women enjoyed, according to the Supreme Court, wasn’t as strong as the protection that the Constitution afforded against racial discrimination.

At some point we can’t afford some of our employees because we don’t have money coming in from our clients.

From Digiday

The most advanced AI techniques require an enormous amount of computational resources, which increasingly only the wealthiest companies can afford.

His family could not afford to send his grandmother to a nursing home with services like physical therapy.

There’s a certain part of the public that can afford it, and those sort of people want to know where the product is coming from.

From Fortune

The irony has thinned with the economy, perhaps: Who can really afford just to pretend to DIY today?

His stepfather had left his mother and they could no longer afford the house in which they lived.

As a matter of dollars and cents, America in the short term may be able to afford disability and food stamps.

It represented everything about the kind of comfort and the little luxuries in life that a good glass of Scotch can afford us.

Selling off the extras, I saw my neighbor marvel at the scent and murmur that he wished he could afford one.

I doubt if the modern community can afford to continue it; it certainly cannot afford to extend it very widely.

Here and there are left a few plants without having their tops broken off, in order that they may afford seeds for another year.

Our gunners had put more than they could afford into the bombardment and had very little wherewith to pave the way.

Sensations were not so common in San Bernardino that they could afford to slight so notable an occasion as this.

In some cases a small stained glass window is set in the side or front, but only rich men can afford this luxury.


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