Definition of affirmative in English:

affirmative

adjective

  • 1Agreeing with or consenting to a statement or request.

    ‘an affirmative answer’
    • ‘She continued to ask the same question, repeatedly, throughout the meal, despite Sammy's reliably affirmative answers.’
    • ‘Then you will have to get an affirmative answer.’
    • ‘The patient giving an affirmative answer to any of these questions would merit a more detailed assessment.’
    • ‘The present results provide an affirmative answer to this question.’
    • ‘His reaction to his classmate's affirmative answer is telling.’
    • ‘Despite his reservations, the answer is decidedly affirmative.’
    • ‘she held her breath, hoping to hear an affirmative answer.’
    • ‘Nods and affirmative statements came from everyone in the room.’
    • ‘The very fact that the statement is qualified implies or at least suggests an affirmative answer.’
    • ‘With half a season to go, an affirmative answer is required sooner rather than later.’
    • ‘He got affirmative answers from three different people.’
    • ‘Every time there's an affirmative answer, the volunteers ring a bell to spur one another on.’
    • ‘The affirmative answer was engineered, predetermined and deafening in its repetition.’
    • ‘I will think about it and get back to you… although my answer is more affirmative than not.’
    • ‘On the surface, the obvious answer seems to be affirmative.’
    • ‘She examined him for bruises, while he nodded his affirmative answer.’
    • ‘The rule gives one point for an affirmative answer to each question, and scores of 4 or 5 predict response to spinal manipulation.’
    • ‘On the other hand, as I have mentioned, a trend has emerged to give an affirmative answer to the question ‘Should writing be studied?’’
    • ‘He raised his eyebrows, which Dan accepted as an affirmative answer.’
    • ‘He hadn't been confident of her affirmative answer at all.’
    1. 1.1Logic Grammar
      Stating that a fact is so; making an assertion.
      ‘affirmative sentences’
      Contrasted with negative and interrogative
      • ‘In arguments of this form, all three propositions (the two premisses and the conclusion) are universal, affirmative, and assertoric.’
      • ‘If any of the two terms of an affirmative categorical is "empty", then the term in question refers to nothing.’
      • ‘Human nature may even require the application of affirmative and negative propositions: Man is an animal and man is not an animal.’
      • ‘As we saw earlier, the logical empiricists held that the answer to this question is affirmative, and the logician largely agreed with them about this.’
      • ‘In general then, the relation of subject to predicate in a true affirmative judgment is the relation of what is at least relatively indeterminate to what at least partially determines it.’
    2. 1.2(of a vote) expressing approval or agreement.
      • ‘Alongside the government we shall argue for an affirmative vote, but we are entitled to expect the government to raise its game and to put the case with more passion and commitment than we have seen so far.’
      • ‘With this affirmative vote, Michigan becomes the first state to pass the bill in its House.’
      • ‘The government is now accepting this committee's proposal that before any direction to a dissenting regulatory authority can be issued approval must be obtained by an affirmative vote of agreement in both houses of parliament.’
      • ‘Were there any concessions, quid pro quos offered to those countries in exchange for their affirmative vote?’
      • ‘If the vote was affirmative, an ostracism was held two months later.’
      • ‘The biological weapons treaty requires an affirmative majority vote of the executive to authorize an investigation.’
      • ‘Nothing can move out of the task force without an affirmative vote of its private-sector members.’
      • ‘They must also have an affirmative vote by the majority of the parents of the pupils enrolled in the school.’
      • ‘Adoption shall require the affirmative vote of two-thirds of the members present.’
      • ‘The only discussion was a quick affirmative vote to accept changes made to the policy during a special senate ‘committee of the whole’ meeting April 24.’
      • ‘Adoption of proposed amendments shall require the affirmative vote of two-thirds of the members present.’
      • ‘The board recommends in the proxy an affirmative vote on the question.’
      • ‘Approval would require an affirmative vote of both 90 percent or more of the total property value affected and 75 percent or more of the individual unit owners.’
      • ‘He said he waited four months hoping that it could be given an affirmative vote by the House.’
      • ‘It should be obvious why like-minded voters would want to express their support for his ideas, to cast an affirmative vote for once instead of settling for the lesser of two evils.’
    3. 1.3Relating to or denoting proposed legislation which must receive a parliamentary vote in its favour before it can come into force.
      ‘regulations under the Bill would be subject to the affirmative procedure’
      • ‘In a prior passage of its judgment the Court of Appeal had concluded that the court had jurisdiction to determine the validity of subordinate legislation even if it had been subject to the affirmative resolution procedure in Parliament.’
      • ‘They noted that the affirmative resolution procedure allows a truncated legislative process, but considered that that had considerable drawbacks.’
      • ‘It turns out that it was the Misuse of Drugs Act that provided the starting point for this novel affirmative procedure process to arise.’
      • ‘Any use of clause 7 will also ‘be subject to parliamentary oversight by the affirmative resolution procedure’.’
      • ‘The second amendment in my name is intended to ensure that the presumption of supply for a drug could be amended by Order in Council, and that the associated affirmative resolution procedure could be amended by Parliament.’
  • 2Offering emotional support.

    ‘the family is usually a source of encouragement from which affirmative influences come’
    • ‘To demonstrate parental support within the school district, the charter must receive the affirmative support of parents or legal guardians.’
    • ‘If a candidate can't connect with the voters, can't give them an affirmative reason to support him, as opposed to the other candidates, that's his problem.’
    • ‘The availability of both emotional and affirmative support is negatively correlated with depression.’
    • ‘In short, the family with its daily affirmative influence on the child is the most reliable nursery of responsible, emotionally mature, and socially compatible individuals.’
    • ‘Any expression of approval would probably meet the criterion of affirmative suggestion or encouragement.’
    • ‘Such rights are minimalist: they protect people against being treated in certain ways, but they do not, except in extremis, entitle them to the affirmative support of others.’
    • ‘Factors supporting an affirmative interpretation center on two considerations: the nature of the memorial service and the content of the remarks.’
    • ‘Activists inside the country, however, have indicated that immediate and affirmative support from the international community is essential to the success of their project to restore democracy.’
    • ‘He said he was in favor of some sort of "affirmative help" for distressed farmers.’
    • ‘We recognize and honor the multitudes of affirmative influences people from various cultures have on our campus and our society at large.’
    • ‘Our assumption is that an increase in affirmative responses to sensitive questions on such behaviors suggests greater honesty or enhanced self-disclosure.’
    • ‘The importance of affirmative support is emphasized most strongly by those significant others whose definition of self and role is perceived as devalued.’
    • ‘Last, the individual would have to know the government was taking affirmative measures to protect her identity.’
    • ‘This suggests that the adverse effects of early life events can be offset by the adaptive capability of the mind and the affirmative influences of the adoptive family.’
    • ‘I support affirmative access, which aggressively reaches out to minorities, is inclusive of all races, provides equal opportunity, and promotes diversity.’
    • ‘I also agree that a public sphere is important to democracy and requires nurturing, not only by opposing forms of censorship but by supporting affirmative policies that help establish a public forum.’
    supportive, reassuring, sympathetic, sensitive, understanding, helpful
    View synonyms

noun

  • 1A statement of agreement with or consent to an assertion or request.

    ‘he accepted her reply as an affirmative’
    • ‘To the question of whether he would take tea or coffee his reply was a simple affirmative.’
    • ‘Initially speechless, the Colonel quickly regained his composure and responded in a most emphatic affirmative.’
    • ‘I nodded in understanding, but he took it for an affirmative.’
    • ‘Today he would just love to answer with an affirmative.’
    • ‘An chorus of affirmatives rang into his earpiece, and he nodded in satisfaction.’
    • ‘Around Christmas 1990, it was hard to find many senior figures in the capital who would reply to both those questions with a confident affirmative.’
    • ‘I asked if I would see him later and he answered me in the definite affirmative.’
    • ‘Friends and colleagues speak of a man who rediscovers his serenity the day after a tantrum, asks whether he was foolish and nods quietly on hearing the affirmative.’
    • ‘Mark's face became a picture of understanding and he nodded a quick affirmative before swinging the door open.’
    • ‘Reaching up and scratching her right ear, she replied to Raquel's message, signaling an affirmative.’
    • ‘We never answer questions about special forces, but do not take that as an answer indicating an affirmative.’
    • ‘She was answered with an affirmative from all quarters.’
    • ‘No affirmatives were required, unless they replied in the negative, he knew his orders would be complied with.’
    • ‘It was a question, and everyone nodded and muttered affirmatives.’
    • ‘They came remarkably close to answering with a simple affirmative.’
    • ‘It is the peculiar and perpetual error of the human understanding to be more moved and excited by affirmatives than by negatives.’
    • ‘He answered his own question with an emphatic affirmative.’
    • ‘On the question being put to the vote, it was found that the balance of opinion was in favour of the affirmative.’
    • ‘June turned back, looked, and gave the affirmative.’
    • ‘Rebecca was too embarrassed to reply, but he took her silence as an affirmative.’
    1. 1.1Grammar
      A word used in making assertions or to express consent.
      • ‘In these cases, the complex content of the clause, either affirmative or negative, is symbolized by a single, unanalysable morpheme.’
      • ‘The construction is symmetric neither with the main clause nor with the relative clause affirmatives.’
      • ‘In addition, the ironic echo also displays a syntactic shift by changing the first clause to a negative and the second to an affirmative.’
      • ‘Affirmatives with both of the options can mark a contrast between speaker and hearer, but mostly in literature.’
      • ‘Finally, in the original table there were only three cells in the relative clause affirmative realized with default lexical tone.’
    2. 1.2Logic
      A statement asserting that something is true of the subject of a proposition.
      • ‘Every simple proposition is either affirmative or negative.’
      • ‘A propositions, or universal affirmatives take the form: All S are P.’
      • ‘A deduction with an affirmative conclusion must have two affirmative premises’
      • ‘Not everything demonstrable can be known by finding definitions, since all definitions are universal and affirmative whereas some demonstrable propositions are negative.’
      • ‘In this way it is possible to state that the 'logic of the affirmative statement ' and the 'logic of the operation' are functionally equivalent.’
    3. 1.3A position of agreement or confirmation.
      ‘his answer veered towards the affirmative’
      • ‘It's a tricky problem, but I think I incline towards the affirmative.’
      • ‘This resolution might, on the surface, seem to lean towards the affirmative, but there are several advantages to both sides.’
      • ‘Well, it remains to be seen, although we can now once again toss our bets towards the affirmative.’
      • ‘And I'm undecided as to whether golf is really a sport, but I'd tend towards the affirmative.’
      • ‘Whether or not the man was dead was a matter of conjecture, but this last fact swayed my opinion towards the affirmative.’

exclamation

North american
  • Expressing agreement with or consent to a statement or request; yes.

    • ‘"Affirmative, sir!" Marcus replied. He quickly got dressed, and donned his armor.’
    • ‘“Affirmative lieutenant.” Sean replied as he bent down and picked Nathan up in his arms.’
    • ‘‘Affirmative, sir,’ responded the ship’s tactical officer.’
    • ‘“Affirmative, madam,” he answered hastily. “All that remains is a note of reassurance and a hurried farewell to our underperforming young friend.”’
    • ‘"Affirmative Colonel. We will be forming up on your right."’
    • ‘"Affirmative, Colonel," was the reply. "All targeting solutions are locked in. And the groundside system's prepared to coordinate with us on a time-on-target basis."’
    • ‘"Affirmative Lieutenant. Has the Commander been informed?"’
    • ‘"Affirmative sir. I also have every soldier, lab tech and civilian in our charge watching a screen somewhere."’
    • ‘"Affirmative Sargeant. Move up and secure firing positions."’
    • ‘“Affirmative Lieutenant, we have your location.”’
    all right, alright, very well, of course, by all means, sure, certainly, absolutely, indeed, affirmative, in the affirmative, agreed, roger
    View synonyms

Phrases

  • in the affirmative

    • So as to accept or agree to a statement or request.

      ‘he answered the question in the affirmative’
      • ‘If the answer to any of these questions is in the affirmative, then may be you own a property with rich heritage value!’
      • ‘If these questions are answered in the affirmative, a lawsuit is born.’
      • ‘She tapped a few keys to confirm the reservations, and replied to the e-mail request in the affirmative.’
      • ‘However, I would answer that question also in the affirmative.’
      • ‘In the case of children, it may be easy to answer that question in the affirmative.’
      • ‘On one level, the last question can be answered in the affirmative.’
      • ‘A remarkable 25 percent of employees responded in the affirmative to this question.’
      • ‘The answer, at least in some respects, is in the affirmative - with untold consequences lying in wait for us.’
      • ‘Unable to offer a contrary view, this so-called investigation seems to answer these questions in the affirmative.’
      • ‘I would answer each question in the affirmative and dismiss the appeal.’
      • ‘And we hope they will answer in the affirmative in talking about the nation's future.’
      • ‘Maybe fewer than half of modern people can answer in the affirmative, due to their busy work schedules.’
      • ‘If he was being true to himself and his principles then the answer would have to be in the affirmative.’
      • ‘I agree that that question must be answered in the affirmative; and that, accordingly, this appeal should be allowed.’
      • ‘The partisans of the status quo don't hesitate to answer in the affirmative.’
      • ‘I replied in the affirmative and he didn't question me any further on this point.’
      • ‘Their Lordships answered the question in the affirmative.’
      • ‘Taking the actions required to get you in the right position to answer in the affirmative might be worth your while.’
      • ‘For the reasons set out above, I would answer that question in the affirmative, and as a consequence the other four questions simply do not arise.’
      • ‘I am not especially optimistic about answering that question in the affirmative.’

Origin

Late Middle English (in the sense ‘assertive, positive’): via Old French from late Latin affirmativus, from affirmare assert (see affirm).

Pronunciation:

affirmative

/əˈfəːmətɪv/