Definition of affirmative in US English:

affirmative

adjective

  • 1Agreeing with a statement or to a request.

    ‘an affirmative answer’
    • ‘The affirmative answer was engineered, predetermined and deafening in its repetition.’
    • ‘Nods and affirmative statements came from everyone in the room.’
    • ‘With half a season to go, an affirmative answer is required sooner rather than later.’
    • ‘The present results provide an affirmative answer to this question.’
    • ‘She continued to ask the same question, repeatedly, throughout the meal, despite Sammy's reliably affirmative answers.’
    • ‘He raised his eyebrows, which Dan accepted as an affirmative answer.’
    • ‘He got affirmative answers from three different people.’
    • ‘The rule gives one point for an affirmative answer to each question, and scores of 4 or 5 predict response to spinal manipulation.’
    • ‘He hadn't been confident of her affirmative answer at all.’
    • ‘Every time there's an affirmative answer, the volunteers ring a bell to spur one another on.’
    • ‘I will think about it and get back to you… although my answer is more affirmative than not.’
    • ‘His reaction to his classmate's affirmative answer is telling.’
    • ‘Then you will have to get an affirmative answer.’
    • ‘On the surface, the obvious answer seems to be affirmative.’
    • ‘Despite his reservations, the answer is decidedly affirmative.’
    • ‘she held her breath, hoping to hear an affirmative answer.’
    • ‘The very fact that the statement is qualified implies or at least suggests an affirmative answer.’
    • ‘She examined him for bruises, while he nodded his affirmative answer.’
    • ‘On the other hand, as I have mentioned, a trend has emerged to give an affirmative answer to the question ‘Should writing be studied?’’
    • ‘The patient giving an affirmative answer to any of these questions would merit a more detailed assessment.’
    1. 1.1 (of a vote) expressing approval or agreement.
      • ‘Were there any concessions, quid pro quos offered to those countries in exchange for their affirmative vote?’
      • ‘With this affirmative vote, Michigan becomes the first state to pass the bill in its House.’
      • ‘The board recommends in the proxy an affirmative vote on the question.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘The biological weapons treaty requires an affirmative majority vote of the executive to authorize an investigation.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘They must also have an affirmative vote by the majority of the parents of the pupils enrolled in the school.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Adoption shall require the affirmative vote of two-thirds of the members present.’
      • ‘Nothing can move out of the task force without an affirmative vote of its private-sector members.’
      • ‘Adoption of proposed amendments shall require the affirmative vote of two-thirds of the members present.’
      • ‘He said he waited four months hoping that it could be given an affirmative vote by the House.’
      • ‘If the vote was affirmative, an ostracism was held two months later.’
      • ‘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.’
      positive, assenting, consenting, agreeing, concurring, corroborative, favourable, approving, encouraging, supportive, in the affirmative
      View synonyms
    2. 1.2 Supportive, hopeful, or encouraging.
      ‘the music's natural buoyancy and affirmative character’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Our assumption is that an increase in affirmative responses to sensitive questions on such behaviors suggests greater honesty or enhanced self-disclosure.’
      • ‘I support affirmative access, which aggressively reaches out to minorities, is inclusive of all races, provides equal opportunity, and promotes diversity.’
      • ‘He said he was in favor of some sort of "affirmative help" for distressed farmers.’
      • ‘The importance of affirmative support is emphasized most strongly by those significant others whose definition of self and role is perceived as devalued.’
      • ‘Any expression of approval would probably meet the criterion of affirmative suggestion or encouragement.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Last, the individual would have to know the government was taking affirmative measures to protect her identity.’
      • ‘The availability of both emotional and affirmative support is negatively correlated with depression.’
      • ‘Factors supporting an affirmative interpretation center on two considerations: the nature of the memorial service and the content of the remarks.’
      • ‘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 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.’
      • ‘To demonstrate parental support within the school district, the charter must receive the affirmative support of parents or legal guardians.’
      • ‘We recognize and honor the multitudes of affirmative influences people from various cultures have on our campus and our society at large.’
      supportive, reassuring, sympathetic, sensitive, understanding, helpful
      View synonyms
    3. 1.3 Active or obligatory.
      ‘they have an affirmative duty to stop crime in their buildings’
      ‘using affirmative measures to influence human rights policies’
      • ‘A necessary extension of this idea is that there is no general affirmative duty on the government to assure that private conduct conforms to a constitutional norm.’
      • ‘The paper collects a huge database of cases involving claims of an affirmative duty to disclose and examines the various variables that have been argued by theorists that explain these cases.’
      • ‘The University not only has the right, but has the affirmative duty to ensure the academic integrity of the degrees it grants, and requiring that qualified people are on doctoral defense committees is part of that duty.’
      • ‘But take the case where the State is the owner of land and it allows people to come on its land, surely it owes a duty of care to those people and in certain circumstances it may be under an affirmative duty.’
      • ‘So there is a very affirmative obligation for the Crown, having accepted the truth of those obligations and values, to uphold them and avoid their diminishment.’
      • ‘Sometimes the problems that arise in relation to affirmative duties are discussed in terms of intervening acts or remoteness of damage.’
      • ‘News Directors have an affirmative duty to uphold these standards and help others in their station to understand and appreciate their enduring value.’
      • ‘However, whether we have an affirmative obligation to protect them is really a moot point.’
      • ‘It also imposes an affirmative duty on employers to take ‘all reasonable steps necessary to prevent discrimination and harassment from occurring.’’
      • ‘Well, they weren't taking affirmative measures to protect that identity.’
      • ‘True to his progressive values, he argued that government had an affirmative duty to seek out new approaches to the problems that confront society.’
      • ‘But the former requirement indicates that any affirmative duty to prevent deliberate wrongdoing by third parties, if recognised in English law, is likely to be strictly limited.’
      • ‘I want to re-emphasise once again the importance of the rapid classification measures through the affirmative resolution procedures that were decided on in the amendment in 2003.’
      • ‘Until we arrive at that state, we must continue to right the wrongs of the past, and to keep open the doors of academic opportunity through affirmative measures.’
      • ‘Correspondingly, there is an affirmative obligation on a parent to foster that relationship.’
      • ‘There is little doubt that it would have been difficult to achieve progress against the deeply entrenched realities of caste without such affirmative legal measures.’
      • ‘That could argue that the agency wasn't taking affirmative measures to conceal her identity.’
      • ‘International law imposes an affirmative duty on military commanders to take appropriate measures within their power to control troops under their command for the prevention of such atrocities.’
      • ‘And there is a substantial doubt whether the agency was taking the kind of affirmative measures to conceal her identity that the act talks about.’
      • ‘It seems to have been a case in which it was argued, or it would have to be argued, that the Council, because of its powers, had an affirmative obligation to put up a sign here.’
    4. 1.4Logic Grammar Stating that a fact is so; making an assertion.
      Contrasted with interrogative and negative
      • ‘In arguments of this form, all three propositions (the two premisses and the conclusion) are universal, affirmative, and assertoric.’
      • ‘Human nature may even require the application of affirmative and negative propositions: Man is an animal and man is not an animal.’
      • ‘If any of the two terms of an affirmative categorical is "empty", then the term in question refers to nothing.’
      • ‘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.’

noun

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

    ‘he accepted her reply as an affirmative’
    • ‘Initially speechless, the Colonel quickly regained his composure and responded in a most emphatic affirmative.’
    • ‘We never answer questions about special forces, but do not take that as an answer indicating an affirmative.’
    • ‘An chorus of affirmatives rang into his earpiece, and he nodded in satisfaction.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘She was answered with an affirmative from all quarters.’
    • ‘June turned back, looked, and gave the affirmative.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Reaching up and scratching her right ear, she replied to Raquel's message, signaling an affirmative.’
    • ‘It is the peculiar and perpetual error of the human understanding to be more moved and excited by affirmatives than by negatives.’
    • ‘Mark's face became a picture of understanding and he nodded a quick affirmative before swinging the door open.’
    • ‘I nodded in understanding, but he took it for an affirmative.’
    • ‘To the question of whether he would take tea or coffee his reply was a simple 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.’
    • ‘They came remarkably close to answering with a simple affirmative.’
    • ‘I asked if I would see him later and he answered me in the definite affirmative.’
    • ‘Rebecca was too embarrassed to reply, but he took her silence as an affirmative.’
    • ‘Today he would just love to answer with an affirmative.’
    • ‘On the question being put to the vote, it was found that the balance of opinion was in favour of the affirmative.’
    • ‘He answered his own question with an emphatic affirmative.’
    1. 1.1Grammar A word or particle used in making assertions.
      • ‘In addition, the ironic echo also displays a syntactic shift by changing the first clause to a negative and the second to an affirmative.’
      • ‘In these cases, the complex content of the clause, either affirmative or negative, is symbolized by a single, unanalysable morpheme.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘The construction is symmetric neither with the main clause nor with the relative clause affirmatives.’
    2. 1.2Logic A statement asserting that something is true of the subject of a proposition.
      • ‘A deduction with an affirmative conclusion must have two affirmative premises’
      • ‘In this way it is possible to state that the 'logic of the affirmative statement ' and the 'logic of the operation' are functionally equivalent.’
      • ‘Every simple proposition is either affirmative or negative.’
      • ‘A propositions, or universal affirmatives take the form: All S are P.’
      • ‘Not everything demonstrable can be known by finding definitions, since all definitions are universal and affirmative whereas some demonstrable propositions are negative.’
    3. 1.3the affirmative A position of agreement or confirmation.
      ‘his answer veered toward the affirmative’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘This resolution might, on the surface, seem to lean towards the affirmative, but there are several advantages to both sides.’
      • ‘It's a tricky problem, but I think I incline towards the affirmative.’
      agreement, acceptance, approval, confirmation, assent, ratification, acquiescence, concurrence
      View synonyms

exclamation

North American
  • Expressing agreement with a statement or request; yes.

    • ‘“Affirmative lieutenant.” Sean replied as he bent down and picked Nathan up in his arms.’
    • ‘"Affirmative Colonel. We will be forming up on your right."’
    • ‘“Affirmative, madam,” he answered hastily. “All that remains is a note of reassurance and a hurried farewell to our underperforming young friend.”’
    • ‘"Affirmative sir. I also have every soldier, lab tech and civilian in our charge watching a screen somewhere."’
    • ‘‘Affirmative, sir,’ responded the ship’s tactical officer.’
    • ‘"Affirmative, sir!" Marcus replied. He quickly got dressed, and donned his armor.’
    • ‘"Affirmative Lieutenant. Has the Commander been informed?"’
    • ‘"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 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’
      • ‘Maybe fewer than half of modern people can answer in the affirmative, due to their busy work schedules.’
      • ‘She tapped a few keys to confirm the reservations, and replied to the e-mail request in the affirmative.’
      • ‘On one level, the last question can be answered in the affirmative.’
      • ‘However, I would answer that question also in the affirmative.’
      • ‘And we hope they will answer in the affirmative in talking about the nation's future.’
      • ‘Unable to offer a contrary view, this so-called investigation seems to answer these questions in the affirmative.’
      • ‘In the case of children, it may be easy to answer that question in the affirmative.’
      • ‘Their Lordships answered the question in the affirmative.’
      • ‘If these questions are answered in the affirmative, a lawsuit is born.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘I agree that that question must be answered in the affirmative; and that, accordingly, this appeal should be allowed.’
      • ‘I replied in the affirmative and he didn't question me any further on this point.’
      • ‘I would answer each question in the affirmative and dismiss the appeal.’
      • ‘If he was being true to himself and his principles then the answer would have to be 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!’
      • ‘The partisans of the status quo don't hesitate to answer in the affirmative.’
      • ‘The answer, at least in some respects, is in the affirmative - with untold consequences lying in wait for us.’
      • ‘Taking the actions required to get you in the right position to answer in the affirmative might be worth your while.’
      • ‘A remarkable 25 percent of employees responded in the affirmative to this question.’

Origin

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

Pronunciation

affirmative

/əˈfərmədiv//əˈfərmədɪv/