Definition of confirm in English:



  • 1Establish the truth or correctness of (something previously believed or suspected to be the case)

    ‘if these fears are confirmed, the outlook for the economy will be dire’
    [with clause] ‘the report confirms that a diet rich in vitamin C can help to prevent cataracts’
    • ‘If the truth as you suspect it is confirmed, you can take a deep breath and at least know that you can trust yourself.’
    • ‘Yet these findings are endlessly cited and cross-referenced as if by now they confirm a tiresome truth: leftist domination of the universities.’
    • ‘Forty years of sanguine, sorry history have confirmed this truth in Algeria.’
    • ‘Suspected scabies may be confirmed by microscopic identification of the mite or its feces in skin scrapings.’
    • ‘That truth has been confirmed by a survey today.’
    • ‘This apparently well conducted study also confirms the previously established benefits of antibiotics in reducing the duration of symptoms.’
    • ‘Although the wild pair's wedding date has yet to be publicly confirmed it is believed their hearts were set on tying the knot later this month.’
    • ‘This time, a female officer wanted to confirm the intruder had left the premises and asked for a description of him.’
    • ‘Again, testing can help confirm a diagnosis suspected on clinical grounds.’
    • ‘This is a book which confirms the adage that truth is stranger than fiction.’
    • ‘We knew that something foul was happening, and the diagnosis just confirmed our fears, really.’
    • ‘But its figures confirmed the widespread fear in schools that they were up against demographics as much as private sector salaries.’
    • ‘So this ‘crisis summit’ at least confirms one apparently forgotten truth.’
    • ‘Fingerprints will only be taken with the person's written consent - but failure to provide them may lead to further checks to confirm a suspect's identity.’
    • ‘Foreign doctors arriving in the United States can proceed through accelerated programs established to confirm their training and expertise.’
    • ‘The truth was reluctantly confirmed by the Pentagon after news reports corroborated the evidence.’
    • ‘A law enforcement source confirms investigators believe the bombers used a peroxide-based explosive called HNDT.’
    • ‘Findings in our 11 patients confirm some previously reported findings, but we have made several new observations.’
    • ‘Certainly all historical experience confirms the truth - that man would not have attained the possible unless time and again he had reached out for the impossible.’
    • ‘The briefing in my mind confirmed the correctness of where Labor was headed in terms of our policy.’
    find out, discover, come to know, get to know, work out, make out, become aware of, learn, ferret out, dig out, dig up, establish, fix, determine, settle, decide, verify, make certain of, deduce, divine, intuit, diagnose, discern, perceive, see, realize, appreciate, identify, pin down, recognize, register, understand, grasp, take in, comprehend
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    1. 1.1[reporting verb]State with assurance that a report or fact is true.
      [with clause] ‘he confirmed that the general was in the hands of the rebels’
      [with direct speech] ‘‘It is indeed proper coffee,’ I confirmed’
      • ‘In today's Press Briefing, though, he would neither confirm nor deny this report.’
      • ‘I invite the Minister to take a call to confirm whether it is true that the requirement for consultation under this amendment bill will be long and arduous.’
      • ‘So, as John suggests, why won't they simply put the matter to rest by confirming or denying the facts as set out in the memos?’
      • ‘Can someone out there confirm that this is true?’
      • ‘In fact, she confirmed that she has raised the issue about her back problems with her current doctor.’
      • ‘He went into the witness box and confirmed that the facts he had given to the court were true, but he was not cross-examined.’
      • ‘In fact, the Minister confirmed that in the House this afternoon.’
      • ‘As for the manipulation of final salary pension, I can confirm that is true.’
      • ‘Larry, defense officials in fact, are now confirming that they do have what they call a high level of interest in two individuals.’
      • ‘The man, in fact, confirmed in his testimony that it was he who always made the decisions during the marriage.’
      • ‘I can in fact confirm that New Zealand First voted against the bill.’
      • ‘In fact, as my colleagues will confirm, whatever I do, I tend to do it obsessively.’
      • ‘It's true that nobody has confirmed, on the record, that the proposal is even under discussion.’
      • ‘Another soldier confirmed the general's story, adding that he would be prepared to identify American soldiers if given the chance.’
      • ‘I confirmed that both were true, and asked if his mother told him.’
      • ‘My colleague has been in contact with the industry throughout the evening listening to its concerns, and he confirms that, in fact, there is a loophole.’
      • ‘You focus on the fact that he neither confirms nor denies an imminent threat.’
      • ‘Scientists can't confirm that for a fact, but the belief that certain ones stir the libido may be all the convincing that's needed.’
      • ‘Reporters covering the story were quick to confirm that her performance would include bikinis, but no actually topless scenes.’
      • ‘‘This is speculation and we cannot confirm that it is true,’ said a spokeswoman.’
      affirm, reaffirm, assert, reassert, give an assurance, assure someone, repeat, say again, state again, pledge, promise, guarantee
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    2. 1.2Reinforce someone in (an opinion or feeling)
      ‘he fuelled his misogyny by cultivating women who confirmed him in this view’
      • ‘What has confirmed me in this suspicion is the news that the model railway manufacturer has just had its most successful Christmas since the Seventies, largely due to the patronage of older people.’
      • ‘When will the Magisterium learn that it is there to confirm us in our prejudices and a priori assumptions, not to make us think?’
      • ‘Two items in the press confirm me in that diagnosis.’
      • ‘No doubt the debacle will confirm them in their scepticism.’
      • ‘This of course confirmed her in her opinion, for Grandpa's pride in his own awfulness was his distinguishing trait.’
      • ‘In the time since, I have done further research in this area, which has confirmed me in my conclusions.’
      • ‘The phenomenal response to it from all over the country confirmed him in his idea of producing a CD with us, a project which we owe entirely to him.’
      • ‘Viewing the radiographic evidence confirmed him in the idea that he had arrived at.’
      • ‘We think the risk is that it will confirm him in his view that there is no problem and he can continue with policies that are damaging the country.’
      • ‘He had resigned that summer, and when the news reached Dutch Harbor it only confirmed me in my cynicism.’
      • ‘It has only confirmed me in my belief that those who call sports talkback shows to complain about the performance of elite sportspeople have usually never played elite sport themselves!’
      • ‘These objects confirmed us in a traditional humanist understanding of the world beyond our own.’
      • ‘This one sentence, carefully read would have answered your first question and confirmed you in your concerns.’
      • ‘It hardens our racial categories and confirms us in our bad habit of treating race like it's real.’
      • ‘Regardless, its relative failure probably confirmed him in his preference for lighter subjects.’
      • ‘The longer we stay, the more they are confirmed in that view.’
      • ‘If anything, it confirmed them in their resolve to do the right thing as they saw it and not give in to the pressures of one side or the other on this issue.’
      • ‘I think it likely that this further information confirmed him in his view that he must have it.’
      • ‘And this confirmed me in my conviction that the surest way to steal the meaning, and therefore the power, from religion is to deliver it to politics, to enslave it to public life.’
      • ‘I believed that when I wrote it, and a long lifetime rich in varied experience of the world, in study and in reflection confirms me in it.’
      corroborate, bear out, verify, show the truth of, prove, validate, authenticate, substantiate, give substance to, justify, vouch for, vindicate, give credence to, support, uphold, back up
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    3. 1.3Make (a provisional arrangement or appointment) definite.
      ‘Mr Baker's assistant telephoned to confirm his appointment with the chairman’
      • ‘If they are prepared to wait a few days, we can send a letter confirming the appointment and which carpenter it is with.’
      • ‘I received a phone call confirming my appointment for tomorrow, just after lunch.’
      • ‘Call your stylist and confirm your appointment on Prom day.’
      • ‘It is a good idea to check this with the receptionist when you confirm your appointment.’
      • ‘Well did you bother checking with her agency to confirm her arrangements in this country?’
      • ‘Yesterday I rang her to confirm the final arrangements for meeting up at the beginning of next week.’
      • ‘I enter the surgery, confirm my appointment at the desk, and take a seat.’
      • ‘Once the appointment is confirmed the salesperson can then plan their sales presentation.’
      • ‘I rudely hang up on a nice lady from a PR company who was very kindly taking the time out of her hectic schedule to ring and confirm some travel arrangements for me.’
      • ‘They will normally send a letter confirming the appointment, the location, and the examination's scope.’
      • ‘The Professor called her to confirm the appointment and asked about the purpose of the meeting.’
      • ‘We were told that the mortgage would be paid off within 10 years with a surplus bonus at current interest rates and received a letter confirming this arrangement.’
      • ‘On arrival at the surgery, a receptionist confirmed her appointment and pointed to the adjacent waiting room.’
      • ‘Passengers who have already made bookings have now been told to confirm their arrangements - or risk losing them.’
    4. 1.4Make (a decision or an agreement) formally valid.
      ‘the organization has confirmed the appointment of Mr Collins as managing director’
      • ‘The sacrament of marriage is in this context at best a matter of romantic deference to tradition, confirming a decision already taken to ‘live together’.’
      • ‘Two of the six had already found other jobs due to the long wait to confirm their appointments.’
      • ‘A body as unrepresentative as the United States Senate should not be confirming lifetime appointments, especially by simple majority vote.’
      • ‘All that clause states is that the High Court confirms appointments.’
      • ‘Five days after the appointment of the Administrator by the Board, a meeting of all the creditors, including the workers, is held to confirm that appointment.’
      • ‘The Cabinet's decision was confirmed at its meeting last Tuesday.’
      • ‘A special meeting of the full council scheduled for Monday to confirm the new appointment has subsequently been cancelled.’
      • ‘The two were dismissed, and this decision was confirmed by a director.’
      • ‘I thank her for confirming my decision and dismiss the matter from my mind.’
      • ‘The head teacher expelled them in June and the school's governors confirmed the decision.’
      • ‘The Council confirmed the appointment of a new manager at a meeting of the authority's safer communities committee this week.’
      • ‘Secondly, there was no evidence called to indicate that the Board of Directors ever approved, ratified or confirmed any agreement.’
      • ‘This decision was confirmed by the English Court of Appeal.’
      • ‘But I can tell fans of the Lions that some thoroughly good appointments were confirmed last week.’
      • ‘And in 1598 the Privy Council confirmed this arrangement by granting them a joint monopoly.’
      • ‘His appointment was confirmed by the club management at a recent meeting.’
      • ‘The Anglican Church in America has voted to confirm the appointment of an openly gay bishop.’
      • ‘The deal to confirm his appointment was rubber-stamped after he attended Saturday's 3-0 victory at Watford.’
      • ‘He said he'd been sent to Australia by the leaders in Malaysia and that they had later come to Sydney to confirm his appointment as a leader of the local group.’
      • ‘Two weeks ago his appointment was unanimously confirmed by the Senate.’
      ratify, validate, sanction, endorse, formalize, certify, underwrite, authorize, warrant, accredit, approve, recognize, agree to, consent to, accept
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    5. 1.5Declare (someone) formally to be appointed to a particular post.
      ‘he was confirmed as the new EC peace envoy’
      • ‘From his appointment as CEO of the company in March of this year, last week he was confirmed as the firm's new chairman too.’
      • ‘I am now confirmed in post, and we are awaiting the results of the national executive elections.’
      • ‘But then afterward, someone has to tell him that she was confirmed to the post last June.’
      • ‘He said that if he is confirmed as prime minister, he would first try to stymie the violence that has crippled the country's recovery.’
      • ‘His participation crowned what was a wonderful week for the Sligo lad as he was also confirmed as a member of our cycling team for the Athens Olympics.’
      • ‘He is confirmed as his replacement in Blighty.’
      • ‘When he was confirmed as Commissioner, he had told the media he couldn't say who would be appointed Deputy Commissioner.’
      • ‘He signalled that tax cuts will have to come second to public service reform after he was finally confirmed as Tory leader yesterday.’
      • ‘Having thus made his public confession, he was confirmed as Labour's only candidate, and now seems set to be installed as first minister next week.’
      • ‘It will also confirm her as the person who cheerfully keeps the group on an even keel, more comfortable than otherwise might be the case with a level of emotional solidarity.’
      • ‘He's aged just eight, is owned by a charming Brummie and stabled with two eccentrics, and in 2003, he was confirmed as racing's new superstar.’
      • ‘The six-footer was having his first press conference since he was confirmed as the company president on August 7.’
      • ‘My guess is that he expected to be cleared and didn't want to say anything until after he was confirmed as Secretary of State or Defense.’
      • ‘This issue was examined before he was confirmed as secretary of defense in 1989.’
      • ‘He was confirmed as a Supreme Court Justice in 1971.’
      • ‘If, as we forecast on page one, he is confirmed as unpaid chairman, then the company's boss will at least bring some heavyweight experience to the group.’
      • ‘He was confirmed as president in 1992 and 1997 elections that were widely viewed as flawed.’
  • 2Administer the religious rite of confirmation to.

    ‘he had been baptized and confirmed’
    • ‘As a child raised in France, she had been baptized and confirmed in the Catholic Church, but abandoned its dogmas early on.’
    • ‘Yet most Catholic parents will make practicing Catholicism mandatory for their children and the Church confirms young adults usually around 14.’
    • ‘The Western Church confirms its members at various ages (commonly age 12-15 in Canada).’


Middle English: from Old French confermer, from Latin confirmare, from con- together + firmare strengthen (from firmus firm).