mid-14c., "to drive by physical force; to try, attempt, strive; to fortify, strengthen a place;" late 14c. as "exert force, compel; make stronger, reinforce; strengthen an argument; grow stronger, become violent," from Old French enforcier "strengthen, reinforce; use force (on), offer violence (to); oppress; violate, rape" (12c.) or a native formation from en- (1) "make, put in" + force (n.). Meaning "compel obedience to" (a law, etc.) is from 1640s. Related: Enforced; enforcing.
mid-14c., "misfortune, adversity;" late 14c., "grief, sorrow; discouragement," from Old French desconfort (12c.), from desconforter (v.), from des- (see dis-) + conforter "to comfort, to solace; to help, strengthen," from Late Latin confortare "to strengthen much" (used in Vulgate); see comfort (v.). Meaning "absence of comfort or pleasure, condition of being uncomfortable" is by 1841.
c. 1300, discomforten, "to deprive of courage," from Old French desconforter (Modern French déconforter), from des- (see dis-) + conforter "to comfort, to solace; to help, strengthen," from Late Latin confortare "to strengthen much" (used in Vulgate); see comfort (v.). Meaning "make uncomfortable or uneasy" is by 1856. Related: Discomforted; discomforting.
Middle English affermen, affirmen, "to decide upon" (c. 1300); "to state positively" (late 14c.), from Old French afermer (Modern French affirmer) "affirm, confirm; strengthen, consolidate," from Latin affirmare "to make steady, strengthen," figuratively "confirm, corroborate," from ad "to" (see ad-) + firmare "strengthen, make firm," from firmus "strong" (from suffixed form of PIE root *dher- "to hold firmly, support").
The spelling was refashioned 16c. in French and English on Latin model. Legal sense "declare solemnly (as before a court) but without an oath" is from early 15c. Related: Affirmed; affirming.
late 13c., conforten "to cheer up, console, soothe when in grief or trouble," from Old French conforter "to comfort, to solace; to help, strengthen," from Late Latin confortare "to strengthen much" (used in Vulgate), from assimilated form of Latin com-, here perhaps an intensive prefix (see com-), + fortis "strong" (see fort).
The change of -n- to -m- began in English 14c. In Middle English also "give or add strength to" (c. 1300); "encourage, urge, exhort" (c. 1300). Related: Comforted; comforting.
mid-13c., confirmyn, confermen "to ratify, sanction, make valid by a legal act," from Old French confermer (13c., Modern French confirmer) "strengthen, establish, consolidate; affirm by proof or evidence; anoint (a king)," from Latin confirmare "make firm, strengthen, establish," from assimilated form of com"together," but here perhaps an intensive prefix (see con-), + firmare "to strengthen," from firmus "strong, steadfast" (from suffixed form of PIE root *dher- "to hold firmly, support").
From mid-14c. as "make firm or more firm, add strength to;" late 14c. as "make certain or sure, give an assurance of truth, verify." Related: Confirmative; confirmatory.
1520s, "to give (legal) confirmation to," from Latin corroboratus, past participle of corroborare "to strengthen, invigorate," from assimilated form of com "with, together," here perhaps "thoroughly" (see com-) + roborare "to make strong," from robur, robus "strength," (see robust).
Meaning "to strengthen by evidence, to confirm" is from 1706. Sometimes 16c.-18c. in its literal Latin sense "make strong or add strength to," especially of medicines. Related: Corroborated; corroborating; corroborative.
early 15c., "assertion that something is true," from Old French afermacion "confirmation" (14c.), from Latin affirmationem (nominative affirmatio) "an affirmation, solid assurance," noun of action from past-participle stem of affirmare "to make steady; strengthen; confirm," from ad "to" (see ad-) + firmare "strengthen, make firm," from firmus "strong" (see firm (adj.)). In law, as the word for the conscientious objector alternative to oath-taking (Quakers, Moravians, etc.), it is attested from 1690s; if false, it incurs the same penalty as perjury.