Dictionary » A » Afford



1. To give forth; to supply, yield, or produce as the natural result, fruit, or issue; as, grapes afford wine; olives afford oil; the earth affords fruit; the sea affords an abundant supply of fish.

2. To give, grant, or confer, with a remoter reference to its being the natural result; to provide; to furnish; as, a good life affords consolation in old age. His tuneful muse affords the sweetest numbers. (Addison) The quiet lanes . . . Afford calmer retreats. (Gilpin)

3. To offer, provide, or supply, as in selling, granting, expending, with profit, or without loss or too great injury; as, a affords his goods cheaper than B; a man can afford a sum yearly in charity.

4. 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. The merchant can afford to trade for smaller profits. (Hamilton) He could afford to suffer With those whom he saw suffer. (Wordsworth)

Origin: oe. Aforthen, as. Geforian, forian, to further, accomplish, afford, fr. For forth, forward. The prefix ge- has no well defined sense. See forth.

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