afford to be complacent


With 66 deaths on our roads every week, none of us can afford to be complacent.

In the above sentence I can not understand accurately that what does mean "afford to be complacent". Please, help me.

Thanks in advance.
  • Elnur_cabbar

    Yes I have had look, I know what "afford" and "complacent" separately mean. I can not understant exactly above sentence.


    Senior Member
    UK English
    I think that it is not easy to work out what it means by reading the definition of afford.
    It is really an idiom.

    See English Phrase: (someone) can't afford to (do something) |, which explains it by saying that it is important not to be complacent.
    You might also say We simply cannot be complacent.

    If you say, for example, I can't afford to be late, this means that if you are late, you will face serious consequences. These consequences are too much for you to bear.


    English - England
    I would say that the phrase is literal. The WRF dicitonary gives

    WordReference Random House Learner's Dictionary of American English © 2018
    v. to be able to undergo without serious consequence
    The country can't afford another drought.
    We can't afford to take the chance.

    to be able to give or spare:
    He can't afford the loss of a day.
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