Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • transitive v. To have the financial means for; bear the cost of: not able to afford a new car.
  • transitive v. To manage to spare or give up: can't afford an hour for lunch.
  • transitive v. To manage or bear without disadvantage or risk to oneself: can afford to be tolerant.
  • transitive v. To make available; provide: a sport affording good exercise; a tree that affords ample shade.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • v. To incur, stand, or bear without serious detriment, as an act which might under other circumstances be injurious; -- with an auxiliary, as can, could, might, etc.; to be able or rich enough.
  • v. To offer, provide, or supply, as in selling, granting, expending, with profit, or without loss or too great injury.
  • v. To give forth; to supply, yield, or produce as the natural result, fruit, or issue.
  • v. To give, grant, or confer, with a remoter reference to its being the natural result; to provide; to furnish.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • transitive v. To give forth; to supply, yield, or produce as the natural result, fruit, or issue
  • transitive v. To give, grant, or confer, with a remoter reference to its being the natural result; to provide; to furnish.
  • transitive v. To offer, provide, or supply, as in selling, granting, expending, with profit, or without loss or too great injury
  • transitive v. To incur, stand, or bear without serious detriment, as an act which might under other circumstances be injurious; -- with an auxiliary, as can, could, might, etc.; to be able or rich enough.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • To promote; further; forward; carry out; accomplish; achieve; manage.
  • To give, yield, produce, or confer upon; yield, furnish, supply, as an effect or a result, as of growth, effort, or operation: as, the earth affords grain; trade affords profit; religion affords consolation to the afflicted; the transaction afforded him a good profit; to afford one an agreeable sensation.
  • To manage, be able, or have the means (with an infinitive clause); be able to give or bear, spare, or meet the expense of (with an object-noun): always, from the implication of ability, with may or can: as, we can afford to sell cheap; he might afford to gratify us; you can well afford the expense.
  • Synonyms To supply, furnish, bestow, communicate, give, impart.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • v. be able to spare or give up
  • v. be the cause or source of
  • v. have the financial means to do something or buy something
  • v. afford access to

Etymologies

Middle English aforthen, from Old English geforthian, to carry out : ge-, perfective pref.; see yclept + forthian, to further (from forth, forth, forward; see per1 in Indo-European roots).
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Old English afōrthen, Old English geforðian, forðian ("to further, accomplish, afford"), from forð ("forth, forward"). The prefix ge- has no well defined sense. See forth. (Wiktionary)

Examples

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