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.
also re-affirmation, "renewed or repeated affirmation," 1845, noun of action from reaffirm. The earlier noun was reaffirmance (1726).
also protestor, 1540s, protestour, "one who makes solemn affirmation or declaration;" agent noun from protest (v.). From 1960 as "demonstrator against or public opponent of the established order."
mid-14c., protestacioun, "affirmation;" late 14c., "avowal, a solemn or formal declaration or assertion," from Old French protestacion "protest, protestation" (13c.) and directly from Late Latin protestationem (nominative protestatio) "a declaration, protestation," noun of action from past-participle stem of Latin protestari "declare publicly, testify, protest" (see protest (n.)). By 1640s as "solemn or formal declaration of dissent."
also Negritude, 1950, from French négritude; see Negro + -tude. Used variously over the years, generally "quality or character of being a Negro," also "affirmation of the values of black or African culture." The French word was supposedly coined by poet Aimé Césaire (1913-2008) and young authors from the French colonies of Africa before World War II. Nigritude in the sense of "blackness" is recorded in English from 1650s.
early 15c., "action of alleging, formal declaration in court," from Old French alegacion "allegation, affirmation" (Modern French allégation) and directly from Latin allegationem (nominative allegatio) "a sending, dispatching," noun of action from past-participle stem of allegare (see allege). Specifically in law, "assertion of a party to a suit or action, which he intends to prove." In general (non-legal) use, since 17c., often suggesting an assertion without proof.
Old English andswaru "a response, a reply to a question," from and- "against" (from PIE root *ant- "front, forehead," with derivatives meaning "in front of, before") + -swaru "affirmation," from swerian "to swear" (see swear), suggesting an original sense of "sworn statement rebutting a charge." Meaning "solution of a problem" is from c. 1300.
It is remarkable that the Latin expression for answer is formed in exactly the same way from a verb spondere, signifying to engage for, to assure. [Hensleigh Wedgwood, "A Dictionary of English Etymology," 1859]
A common Germanic compound (cognates: Old Saxon antswor, Old Norse andsvar, Old Frisian ondser, Danish and Swedish ansvar), implying a Proto-Germanic *andswara-. The simpler idea of "a word in reply" is expressed in Gothic anda-vaurd, German Antwort.