[ uh-fawr-duh-buhl ]
/ əˈfɔr də bəl /
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that can be afforded; believed to be within one's financial means: attractive new cars at affordable prices.
Usually affordables. items, expenses, etc., that one can afford: a variety of affordables for your gift list.
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Origin of affordable

First recorded in 1865–70; afford + -able


af·ford·a·bil·i·ty, nounaf·ford·a·bly, adverbun·af·ford·a·bil·i·ty, nounun·af·ford·a·ble, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023


What does affordable mean?

If something is affordable, it means its price is low enough that you (or most people) have enough money to buy it.

Affordable is the adjective form of the verb afford. If you can afford something, you have enough money to pay for it. Much less commonly, affordable can be used as a noun meaning an item that one can afford.

Example: Rachel wants to buy a luxury car, but with her budget I think she should consider a more affordable option.

Where does affordable come from?

Affordable comes from the much older word afford, which derives from the Old English geforthian, meaning “to further” or “to accomplish.” The suffix -able makes it an adjective.

The verb afford can be used in many situations, and not just those involving money, as in We can’t afford to lose another player to injuries. But affordable always relates to how much something costs. If something is affordable, it is within your financial means, meaning your income level. A lot of people set a budget to determine what is affordable at a certain time. Of course, what’s affordable for one person may not be affordable for another.

Affordable is often used by marketers and advertisers when they want to emphasize that something is being offered at a low price or a price that’s lower than normal, such as during a sale. It is also often used in phrases like affordable housing to indicate that a price level has been set so that it doesn’t exceed what people are able to pay.

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What are some other forms related to affordable?

  • afford (verb)
  • affordability (noun)
  • affordably (adverb)

What are some synonyms for affordable?

What are some words that share a root or word element with affordable?

What are some words that often get used in discussing affordable?


How is affordable used in real life?

Affordable is almost always used in the context of how much something costs or how much one is able to pay. It is often used in advertising to indicate that a product has a low price.



Try using affordable!

Is affordable used correctly in the following sentence?

For many people, a vacation simply isn’t affordable in this economy.

How to use affordable in a sentence