Did you know?

Click any word in a definition or example to find the entry for that word

afford - definition and synonyms

 
 
 
Close
What are red words?

90% of the time, speakers of English use just 7,500 words in speech and writing. These words appear in red, and are graded with stars. One-star words are frequent, two-star words are more frequent, and three-star words are the most frequent.

Close
ThesaurusThesaurus
Thesaurus diagram

The thesaurus of synonyms and related words is fully integrated into the dictionary. Click on the thesaurus category heading under the button in an entry to see the synonyms and related words for that meaning.

more
verb [transitive]     afford pronunciation in American English
/əˈfɔrd/
Word Forms
Close
present tense
I/you/we/theyafford
he/she/itaffords
present participleaffording
past tenseafforded
past participleafforded
 
  1. 1
    if you can afford something, you have enough money to be able to pay for it. This word usually follows “can,” “could,” or “be able to”

    I’m not sure how they are able to afford such expensive vacations.

    We need a bigger house, but we just can’t afford the rent.

    can/can’t afford to do something:

    The company simply cannot afford to pay overtime.

  2. 2
    if you can afford something you can do it without having to worry about it causing problems for you. This word always follows “can,” “could,” or “be able to”

    Scientists are going abroad, taking with them skills that our country can ill afford (=cannot afford) to lose.

    I’m so busy, I can rarely afford the luxury of a restful weekend.

    can/can’t/be unable to afford to do something:

    No politician can afford to ignore the power of television.

  3. 3
    formal to provide something
    afford protection/shelter:

    The vaccination also affords protection against polio.

    afford someone something:

    Letters survive that afford us a glimpse into his everyday life.

 
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
BuzzWord

moonbow

a rainbow produced when water droplets in the air reflect light from the moon rather than the sun

BuzzWord Article

Open Dictionary

platform capitalism

a way of doing business that involves recruiting large numbers of people who work for themselves using the company's platform, as used by companies such as Uber, Deliveroo and the like

add a word

Blog

A must for anyone with an interest in the changing face of language. The Macmillan Dictionary blog explores English as it is spoken around the world today.

global English and language change from our blog
Macmillan learn live love play