[ uh-fawrd, uh-fohrd ]
/ əˈfɔrd, əˈfoʊrd /

verb (used with object)

to be able to do, manage, or bear without serious consequence or adverse effect: The country can't afford another drought.
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.
to be able to give or spare: He can't afford the loss of a day.
to furnish; supply: The transaction afforded him a good profit.
to be capable of yielding or providing: The records afford no explanation.
to give or confer upon: to afford great pleasure to someone.


Discover The Influence Of Portuguese On English Via This Quiz!
We’ve gathered some interesting words donated to English from Portuguese … as well as some that just don’t translate at all. Do you know what they mean?
Question 1 of 11
Which of the following animal names traces its immediate origin to Portuguese?

Origin of afford

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


un·af·ford·ed, adjective


accord afford Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2020

Example sentences from the Web for afford

British Dictionary definitions for afford

/ (əˈfɔːd) /


(preceded by can, could, etc) to be able to do or spare something, esp without incurring financial difficulties or without risk of undesirable consequenceswe can afford to buy a small house; I can afford to give you one of my chess sets; we can't afford to miss this play
to give, yield, or supplythe meeting afforded much useful information

Derived forms of afford

affordable, adjectiveaffordability, noun

Word Origin for afford

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-
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