affair

noun af·fair \ ə-ˈfer \
Updated on: 9 Dec 2017

Definition of affair

1 a affairs plural : commercial, professional, public, or personal business
  • handles the company's public affairs
  • an expert in foreign affairs
b : matter, concern
  • How I choose to live is my affair, not yours.
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 or less commonly affaire
a : a romantic or passionate attachment typically of limited duration : liaison 2b
  • had an affair with a coworker
b : a matter occasioning public anxiety, controversy, or scandal : case
  • the Watergate affair of the early 1970s

Examples of affair in a Sentence

  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

Recent Examples of affair from the Web

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'affair.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

Origin and Etymology of affair

Middle English aferes "activities," affaire "enterprise," borrowed from Anglo-French afaire, affere "business, activity, enterprise, matter, topic, situation," from the phrase a faire "to do," from a "to" (going back to Latin ad) + faire "to do," going back to Latin facere — more at 1at, 1do


AFFAIR Defined for English Language Learners

affair

noun

Definition of affair for English Language Learners

  • 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


AFFAIR Defined for Kids

affair

noun af·fair \ ə-ˈfer \

Definition of affair for Students

1 affairs plural : work or activities done for a purpose : business
  • government affairs
2 : something that relates to or involves someone
  • His problem is no affair of mine.
3 : a social event or activity The party was to be a simple affair.


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