verb (used with object)
- to be able to do, manage, or bear without serious consequence or adverse effect: The country can’t afford another drought.
- to be able to meet the expense of; have or be able to spare the price of: Can we afford a trip to Europe this year? The city can easily afford to repair the street.
- to be able to give or spare: He can’t afford the loss of a day.
- to furnish; supply: The transaction afforded him a good profit.
- to be capable of yielding or providing: The records afford no explanation.
- to give or confer upon: to afford great pleasure to someone.
- (preceded by can, could, etc) to be able to do or spare something, esp without incurring financial difficulties or without risk of undesirable consequenceswe can afford to buy a small house; I can afford to give you one of my chess sets; we can’t afford to miss this play
- to give, yield, or supplythe meeting afforded much useful information
Change of -th- to -d- took place late 16c. (and also transformed burthen and murther into their modern forms). Prefix shift to af- took place 16c. under mistaken belief that it was a Latin word in ad-. Notion of “accomplish” (late Old English) gradually became “manage to buy or maintain; have enough money (to do something)” (1833). Older sense is preserved in afford (one) an opportunity. Related: Afforded; affording.