Quantcast
Merriam-Webster Logo
  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
  • Medical
  • Scrabble
  • Spanish Central
  • Learner's Dictionary

affair

play
noun af·fair \ə-ˈfer\

Simple Definition of affair

  • affairs : work or activities done for a purpose : commercial, professional, public, or personal business

  • : a matter that concerns or involves someone

  • : a secret sexual relationship between two people

Full Definition of affair

  1. 1 a plural :  commercial, professional, public, or personal business b :  matter, concern

  2. 2 :  a procedure, action, or occasion only vaguely specified; also :  an object or collection of objects only vaguely specified <their house was a 2-story affair>

  3. 3 also af·faire a :  a romantic or passionate attachment typically of limited duration :  liaison 2b b :  a matter occasioning public anxiety, controversy, or scandal :  case

Examples of affair

  1. After the war, the government focused on its own domestic affairs.

  2. They accused the U.S. of interfering in the internal affairs of other nations.

  3. How I choose to live is my affair, not yours.

  4. adulterous affairs between married men and single women



Origin of affair

Middle English afere, from Anglo-French afaire, from a faire to do


First Known Use: 14th century




Seen and Heard

What made you want to look up affair? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

February 9, 2016

marked by high spirits and laughter

Get Word of the Day daily email!

WORD GAMES

Take a 3-minute break and test your skills!

image1037863653

Which of the following refers to thin, bending ice, or to the act of running over such ice?

kittly-benders pince-nez spindrift duvet
Name That Thing

10 quick questions: hear them, spell them, and see how your skills compare to the crowd.

TAKE THE QUIZ
SCRABBLE® Sprint

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ