Definition of affirmation in US English:



  • 1The action or process of affirming something or being affirmed.

    ‘he nodded in affirmation’
    ‘an affirmation of basic human values’
    • ‘It has also been a period of greater affirmation of human consciousness.’
    • ‘The constant affirmation throughout the play is keeping the lines of communication open.’
    • ‘The most difficult young people are often the most damaged young people, the most in need of affirmation and support and love.’
    • ‘Friends usually do have something to gain from each other, be it companionship or affirmation of existence.’
    • ‘The officers nodded in affirmation and pulled out their guns.’
    • ‘Girls feel enhanced by continuous social affirmation while boys feel diminished.’
    • ‘What might seem like skepticism ends up as affirmation because of the poet's commitment to honesty.’
    • ‘Trying to bring her own emotions back under control, she nodded her head in affirmation.’
    • ‘An enormous impetus behind this interest was the kind of parental affirmation that it received.’
    • ‘I guess I need to make some sort of affirmation to myself.’
    • ‘The other guard nodded in affirmation and began to head down towards the bathroom.’
    • ‘Each person is seen as trapped within his or her own private bubble, in constant need of affirmation and recognition.’
    • ‘They did this in various ways, an example being the investment in university education and the social affirmation that went with it.’
    • ‘For them, Birthright was a powerful, emotional affirmation of everything they already believed.’
    • ‘I think the point is that the youth is in a situation in which the symbols of courage and affirmation have inevitably become twisted.’
    • ‘Leigh nodded in affirmation and made his way back to the car.’
    • ‘Human life should be a search for meaning, but meaning only comes through affirmation.’
    • ‘He looked inquisitively at his future sister-in-law and she nodded in affirmation.’
    • ‘The girl was silent for a moment, then she nodded, grunting in affirmation.’
    • ‘The nun's words were punctuated silently by her sisters' nods of affirmation.’
    assertion, declaration, statement, proclamation, pronouncement, attestation, assurance
    confirmation, ratification, endorsement, defence
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1Law A formal declaration by a person who declines to take an oath for reasons of conscience.
      • ‘Magistrates upon appointment take oaths or make affirmations in the same form as Justices of this Court and the members of other federal courts.’
      • ‘This was treated by both sides as a direction that affidavits or affirmations were to be evidence at this trial, even though the deponents did not attend for cross-examination.’
      • ‘Perhaps we might also ask whether he will take an oath or make an affirmation in respect of those matters of fact which he is going to put before us.’
      • ‘This is what he said we must do: ‘We need to make our agenda clear in a review of the oaths and affirmations.’’
      • ‘Are you prepared to take the oath, or will you make an affirmation?’
  • 2Emotional support or encouragement.

    ‘the lack of one or both parents' affirmation leaves some children emotionally crippled’
    • ‘By blogging, I can leap beyond this place and get affirmation for saying things that would only otherwise have gotten me glares and shunning.’
    • ‘But I want the human touch, the human affirmation, the human truth of real love.’
    • ‘As old as I am, anything positive as in a positive affirmation from my father means so much to me.’
    • ‘Some kids desperately wanted affirmation for each scribbled line; others wanted to team up with buddies to horse around or draw baseball players.’
    • ‘Again and again she repeated that she was a "good girl" as if she needed the affirmation.’
    • ‘Readers will experience the love and reverence Walter Mosley has crafted into this encouragement affirmation of all humanity.’
    • ‘For these boys the organisation had already become a support group, a place of refuge, a source of affirmation in their journey to adulthood.’
    • ‘It's really a great affirmation to get that level of feedback on a person-to-person basis.’
    • ‘The problem occurs when we demand affirmation regardless of whether it's called for.’
    • ‘And they need the affirmation from relationships with parents and other adults.’
    • ‘You're thinking I'm not secure because I want affirmations.’
    • ‘The best salespeople, meanwhile, were impatient and aggressive, and needed a lot of affirmation and encouragement.’
    • ‘Pledging my affirmation to Australia is probably one of the most mature things I've ever done.’
    • ‘As her correspondence indicates, Hurston consulted with Boas frequently, seeking his advice and affirmation.’
    • ‘This also makes them ideal for artists or art students seeking inspiration or affirmation.’
    • ‘Both groups emphasized prosocial behavior and need for affirmation.’
    • ‘Hardly had I driven it down the road than it attracted waves and nods of affirmation from pedestrians and drivers alike.’
    • ‘Readers might be looking for entertainment, information, affirmation or help.’
    • ‘At the same time, editorial boards must decide whether it's in the best interests of their organizations to risk the tacit affirmation they seemingly give by running recruitment ads.’
    • ‘Your dog should respond to your dominance with a submissive gesture, which is stopping the unwanted behaviour then licking their lips or looking directly at you to seek affirmation.’


Late Middle English: from Latin affirmatio(n-), from the verb affirmare (see affirm).