Meaning of “afford” in the English Dictionary

"afford" in British English

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affordverb

uk /əˈfɔːd/ us /əˈfɔːrd/

afford verb (HAVE ENOUGH)

can afford

More examples

  • We couldn't afford to pay the lawyer's fee.
  • We can't afford another trip abroad this year.
  • How can he afford to buy himself a brand new car?
  • Don't be so ridiculous! I can't possibly afford to go on holiday.
  • Building a dam would be a use of financial resources which this country cannot afford.

B1 to be able to buy or do something because you have enough money or time:

I don't know how he can afford a new car on his salary.
Few people are able to afford cars like that.
She couldn't afford the time off work to see him.
[ + to infinitive ] I can't afford to buy a house.

Idiom(s)

(Definition of “afford” from the Cambridge Advanced Learner’s Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)

"afford" in American English

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affordverb [ I/T ]

us /əˈfɔrd, əˈfoʊrd/

to have enough money or time to buy, keep, or do something:

[ T ] I don’t know how he can afford a new car.
[ I ] Can you afford to take any time off work?

(Definition of “afford” from the Cambridge Academic Content Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)

"afford" in Business English

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affordverb [ T ]

uk /əˈfɔːd/ us
can afford

to be able to buy or do something because you have enough money:

He is over 60 and can't afford his pension contributions.
can afford to do sth Debt is not necessarily a bad thing if the consumer can afford to pay it back.

to be able to do something without it causing problems:

can afford to do sth We can afford to wait.
I can't afford to pay attention to any controversy.

(Definition of “afford” from the Cambridge Business English Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)