To afford means you have enough money or time for something. If you only have ten dollars on you, you can't afford to buy a twenty-dollar hat.

Afford is a verb that has to do with means. You either have a surplus and therefore can afford something, or else you have a deficit and can’t. It can be in the monetary sense: "$100 for cashmere socks? I can’t afford that!” It can also refer to time: “Since my train wasn't scheduled to leave for another hour, I could afford to wait for my sister ten more minutes.” Or even access: “The castle walls afforded a wonderful view of the moat.”

Definitions of afford

v have the financial means to do something or buy something

“We can't afford to send our children to college”
“Can you afford this car?”

v be able to spare or give up

“I can't afford to spend two hours with this person”
Type of:
drop, expend, spend
pay out

v be the cause or source of

“Our meeting afforded much interesting information”
give, yield
cause to have, in the abstract sense or physical sense
open, open up
make available
allow, allow for, leave, provide
make a possibility or provide opportunity for; permit to be attainable or cause to remain
Type of:
furnish, provide, render, supply
give something useful or necessary to

v afford access to

give, open

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