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

affinity

play
noun af·fin·i·ty \ə-ˈfi-nə-tē\

Simple Definition of affinity

  • : a feeling of closeness and understanding that someone has for another person because of their similar qualities, ideas, or interests

  • : a liking for or an attraction to something

  • : a quality that makes people or things suited to each other

Source: Merriam-Webster's Learner's Dictionary

Full Definition of affinity

plural

affinities

  1. 1 :  relationship by marriage

  2. 2 a :  sympathy marked by community of interest :  kinship b (1) :  an attraction to or liking for something <people with an affinity to darkness — Mark Twain> <pork and fennel have a natural affinity for each other — Abby Mandel> (2) :  an attractive force between substances or particles that causes them to enter into and remain in chemical combination c :  a person especially of the opposite sex having a particular attraction for one

  3. 3 a :  likeness based on relationship or causal connection <found an affinity between the teller of a tale and the craftsman — Mary McCarthy> <this investigation, with affinities to a case history, a psychoanalysis, a detective story — Oliver Sacks> b :  a relation between biological groups involving resemblance in structural plan and indicating a common origin

Examples of affinity in a sentence

  1. Jefferson's personal debts continued to mount … . His addiction to French wine, like his affinity for French ideas, never came to grips with the more mundane realities. —Joseph J. Ellis, American Heritage, May/June 1993

  2. … neither virus has an affinity for T cells. —Robert C. Gallo, Scientific American, 1987

  3. Animals sharing this basic architecture may have no closer affinity than a beetle and a squid. —Stephen Jay Gould, Natural History, 1985

  4. There's always been an affinity between us.

  5. He never felt any affinity with the other kids in his neighborhood.



Origin and Etymology of affinity

Middle English affinite, from Anglo-French or Latin; Anglo-French affinité, from Latin affinitas, from affinis bordering on, related by marriage, from ad- + finis end, border


First Known Use: 14th century

Synonym Discussion of affinity

attraction, affinity, sympathy mean the relationship existing between things or persons that are naturally or involuntarily drawn together. attraction implies the possession by one thing of a quality that pulls another to it <felt an attraction to danger>. affinity implies a susceptibility or predisposition on the part of the one drawn <an affinity for mathematics>. sympathy implies a reciprocal or natural relation between two things that are both susceptible to the same influence <two minds in sympathy>.

AFFINITY Defined for Kids

affinity

play
noun af·fin·i·ty \ə-ˈfi-nə-tē\

Definition of affinity for Students

plural

affinities

  1. :  a strong liking for or attraction to someone or something <They had much in common and felt a close affinity.>




Medical Dictionary

affinity

play
noun af·fin·i·ty \ə-ˈfin-ət-ē\

Medical Definition of affinity

plural

affinities

  1. 1:  an attractive force between substances or particles that causes them to enter into and remain in chemical combination

  2. 2:  a relation between biological groups involving resemblance in structural plan and indicating a common origin




Law Dictionary

affinity

play
noun af·fin·i·ty \ə-ˈfi-nə-tē\

Legal Definition of affinity

plural

affinities

  1. :  relationship by marriage — compare consanguinity





Seen and Heard

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

WORD OF THE DAY

the lowest point

Get Word of the Day daily email!

WORD GAMES

Take a 3-minute break and test your skills!

fox-in-summer-forest

Which of these is a synonym of inchoate?

massive frightening formless experimental
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

TAKE THE QUIZ
SCRABBLE® Sprint

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

TAKE THE QUIZ