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[af-uh-buh l] /ˈæf ə bəl/
pleasantly easy to approach and to talk to; friendly; cordial; warmly polite:
an affable and courteous gentleman.
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 forms
affability, affableness, noun
affably, adverb
unaffable, adjective
unaffableness, noun
unaffably, adverb
1. See civil. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for affable
  • There is also an outstanding campus culture; folks tend to be affable, hard-working, and very sharp.
  • Dino's secret, then, is affable irreverence combined with flawless timing and an instinct for the unexpected.
  • I've seen the affable nature of this forum and I hold all of your responses in high esteem.
  • But don't be fooled by her affable nature and occasional hangdog slouch.
  • The affable programmer is gatekeeper for the Linux operating system that's shipped on hundreds of thousands of corporate servers.
  • His method was old and effective: the gentle hand on the lapel, the affable voice of persuasion.
  • If you convey an affable and friendly persona, that will communicate volumes-- you don't want to be perceived as pretentious.
  • The buck stops with the academic dean, an affable fellow whom no one I know can quite read.
  • He's an affable guy, with a wide mouth and an ironic smile.
  • But the man in the hat is more affable than terrifying.
British Dictionary definitions for affable


showing warmth and friendliness; kindly; mild; benign
easy to converse with; approachable; amicable
Derived Forms
affability, noun
affably, adverb
Word Origin
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
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Word Origin and History for affable

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
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