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1

affect

play
noun af·fect \ˈa-ˌfekt\

Definition of affect

  1. 1 obsolete :  feeling, affection

  2. 2 :  the conscious subjective aspect of an emotion considered apart from bodily changes; also :  a set of observable manifestations of a subjectively experienced emotion <patients … showed perfectly normal reactions and affects — Oliver Sacks>



Usage Discussion of affect

Effect and affect are often confused because of their similar spelling and pronunciation. The verb 2affect usually has to do with pretense <she affected a cheery disposition despite feeling down>. The more common 3affect denotes having an effect or influence <the weather affected everyone's mood>. The verb effect goes beyond mere influence; it refers to actual achievement of a final result <the new administration hopes to effect a peace settlement>. The uncommon noun affect, which has a meaning relating to psychology, is also sometimes mistakenly used for the very common effect. In ordinary use, the noun you will want is effect <waiting for the new law to take effect> <the weather had an effect on everyone's mood>.

Examples of affect in a sentence

  1. There's a good plot and good writing here, but Mallory's gender neutrality, conspicuous in her lack of affect, makes her seem like a comic-book character. —Cynthia Crossen, Wall Street Journal, 5 Oct. 1994

  2. Many of these young killers display an absence of what psychiatrists call affect. They show no discernible emotional reaction to what they have done. —Richard Stengel, Time, 16 Sept. 1985

  3. The way people respond to this is sometimes called “depressed affect”—a sort of mental shifting into neutral that psychologists say also happens to prisoners of war, submarine crews, and other people in confined situations with little stimulus. —Susan West, Science 84, January/February 1984



Origin and Etymology of affect

Middle English, from Anglo-French, from Latin affectus, from afficere (see 2affect)


First Known Use: 14th century


2

affect

play
verb af·fect \ə-ˈfekt, a-\

Definition of affect

  1. transitive verb
  2. 1 archaic :  to aim at

  3. 2 a archaic :  to have affection for b :  to be given to :  fancy <affect flashy clothes>

  4. 3 :  to make a display of liking or using :  cultivate <affect a worldly manner>

  5. 4 :  to put on a pretense of :  feign <affect indifference, though deeply hurt>

  6. 5 :  to tend toward <drops of water affect roundness>

  7. 6 :  frequent

  8. intransitive verb
  9. obsolete :  incline 2



Usage Discussion of affect

Effect and affect are often confused because of their similar spelling and pronunciation. The verb 2affect usually has to do with pretense <she affected a cheery disposition despite feeling down>. The more common 3affect denotes having an effect or influence <the weather affected everyone's mood>. The verb effect goes beyond mere influence; it refers to actual achievement of a final result <the new administration hopes to effect a peace settlement>. The uncommon noun affect, which has a meaning relating to psychology, is also sometimes mistakenly used for the very common effect. In ordinary use, the noun you will want is effect <waiting for the new law to take effect> <the weather had an effect on everyone's mood>.

Examples of affect in a sentence

  1. She pauses and affects the more dramatic tone of a veteran actress. —Chris Mundy, Rolling Stone, 15 June 1995

  2. She doesn't put herself down, but she does affect a languid Valley Girl drawl to offset the sharpness of her observations … —Ken Tucker, Entertainment Weekly, 7 Oct. 1994

  3. That is all I have, I said, affecting a pathos in my voice. —Flann O'Brian, At Swim-Two-Birds, 1939



Origin and Etymology of affect

Middle English, from Middle French & Latin; Middle French affecter, from Latin affectare, frequentative of afficere to influence, from ad- + facere to do — more at do


First Known Use: 15th century

Synonym Discussion of affect

assume, affect, pretend, simulate, feign, counterfeit, sham mean to put on a false or deceptive appearance. assume often implies a justifiable motive rather than an intent to deceive <assumed an air of cheerfulness around the patients>. affect implies making a false show of possessing, using, or feeling <affected an interest in art>. pretend implies an overt and sustained false appearance <pretended that nothing had happened>. simulate suggests a close imitation of the appearance of something <cosmetics that simulate a suntan>. feign implies more artful invention than pretend, less specific mimicry than simulate <feigned sickness>. counterfeit implies achieving the highest degree of verisimilitude of any of these words <an actor counterfeiting drunkenness>. sham implies an obvious falseness that fools only the gullible <shammed a most unconvincing limp>.

3

affect

play
verb af·fect \ə-ˈfekt, a-\

Definition of affect

  1. transitive verb
  2. :  to produce an effect upon: as a :  to produce a material influence upon or alteration in <paralysis affected his limbs> b :  to act upon (as a person or a person's mind or feelings) so as to produce a response :  influence

affectability

play \-ˌfek-tə-ˈbi-lə-tē\ noun

affectable

play \-ˈfek-tə-bəl\ adjective


Usage Discussion of affect

Effect and affect are often confused because of their similar spelling and pronunciation. The verb 2affect usually has to do with pretense <she affected a cheery disposition despite feeling down>. The more common 3affect denotes having an effect or influence <the weather affected everyone's mood>. The verb effect goes beyond mere influence; it refers to actual achievement of a final result <the new administration hopes to effect a peace settlement>. The uncommon noun affect, which has a meaning relating to psychology, is also sometimes mistakenly used for the very common effect. In ordinary use, the noun you will want is effect <waiting for the new law to take effect> <the weather had an effect on everyone's mood>.

Examples of affect in a sentence

  1. As strange as this sounds, the negative karma probably affected the actual games, the way a gambler who constantly dwells on his bad luck can derail an entire blackjack table. —Bill Simmons, ESPN, 24 June 2002

  2. The Paris adventures of various Russians, including a romance for Dontsov, affect both the newly democratized ones and hard-line party members. —Stanley Kauffmann, New Republic, 27 Feb. 1995

  3. These programs, known as secret warranties or silent recalls, often involve a problem that affects a vehicle's safety or performance but that isn't the cause of a formal Federal recall. —Consumer Reports, December 1993



Origin and Etymology of affect

Middle English, from affectus, past participle of afficere (see 2affect)


First Known Use: 15th century

Synonym Discussion of affect

affect, influence, touch, impress, strike, sway mean to produce or have an effect upon. affect implies the action of a stimulus that can produce a response or reaction <the sight affected her to tears>. influence implies a force that brings about a change (as in nature or behavior) <our beliefs are influenced by our upbringing>. touch may carry a vivid suggestion of close contact and may connote stirring, arousing, or harming <plants touched by frost> <his emotions were touched by her distress>. impress stresses the depth and persistence of the effect <only one of the plans impressed him>. strike, similar to but weaker than impress, may convey the notion of sudden sharp perception or appreciation <struck by the solemnity of the occasion>. sway implies the acting of influences that are not resisted or are irresistible, with resulting change in character or course of action <politicians who are swayed by popular opinion>.

AFFECT Defined for Kids

1

affect

play
verb af·fect \ə-ˈfekt\

Definition of affect for Students

affected

affecting

  1. :  to pretend that a false behavior or feeling is natural or genuine <She affected surprise upon hearing the news.>




2

affect

play
verb af·fect

Definition of affect for Students

affected

affecting

  1. 1 :  to have an effect on <I hope this disagreement won't affect our friendship.> <The oceans are affected by the moon.>

  2. 2 :  to cause strong emotions in <… the Tin Woodman … was strongly affected by this sad speech. — L. Frank Baum, The Marvelous Land of Oz>

  3. 3 :  to cause illness in <Rabies can affect dogs and cats.>




Medical Dictionary

1

affect

play
noun af·fect \ˈaf-ˌekt\

Medical Definition of affect

  1. :  the conscious subjective aspect of an emotion considered apart from bodily changes—compare feeling 3




2

affect

play
transitive verb af·fect \ə-ˈfekt, a-\

Medical Definition of affect

  1. :  to produce an effect upon; especially :  to produce a material influence upon or alteration in <paralysis affected his limbs>





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