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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 affably
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Constable Heather was in charge of the station, and when he saw Tom he greeted him affably.

    The Mystery of the Downs John R. Watson
  • The lady stared at him steadfastly and smiled to him affably and serenely.

    Foma Gordyeff Maxim Gorky
  • Our father went on affably serving the salad to the just and the unjust alike.

    Life's Minor Collisions Frances Warner
  • "Charlie, you are neglecting a part of your duty," he observed to Drouet most affably.

    Sister Carrie Theodore Dreiser
  • "Let me hear your plan first," she answered, affably, in her secret joy.

    Dainty's Cruel Rivals Mrs. Alex McVeigh Miller
  • "I think I'll come up and sit nearer to you," says Tommy, affably.

    April's Lady Margaret Wolfe Hungerford
  • "Now, I don't know what induced you to hide yourself out here—" went on Barkley, affably.

    Heart's Desire Emerson Hough
  • "I am sorry we are going to part, gentlemen," he said, affably.

    Australia Revenged Boomerang
British Dictionary definitions for affably


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 affably



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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