"answering 'yes,'" mid-15c., from use in logic; from Middle French affirmatif (13c.), from Latin affirmativus, from affirmat-, past participle stem of affirmare (see affirm). As a noun from early 15c. Affirmative action "positive or corrective effort by employers to prevent discrimination in hiring or promotion" is attested from 1935 with regard to labor unions; specific racial sense is from 1961; now often used in reference to hiring quotas, etc.
1. Seventy-nine voted in the affirmative, and none in the negative.
2. Dr Sinclair's affirmative nod seemed a shade reluctant.
3. Haig was desperately eager for an affirmative answer.
4. An affirmative resolution of both Houses of Parliament is needed.