af·​fair | \ ə-ˈfer How to pronounce affair (audio) \

Definition of affair

1a 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 sense 2b had an affair with a coworker
b : a matter occasioning public anxiety, controversy, or scandal : case the Watergate affair of the early 1970s

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Examples of affair in a Sentence

After the war, the government focused on its own domestic affairs. They accused the U.S. of interfering in the internal affairs of other nations. How I choose to live is my affair, not yours. adulterous affairs between married men and single women
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Recent Examples on the Web The administration also let de facto Saudi leader Mohammed Bin Salman off the hook for his role in the Khashoggi murder, even as lower level operatives involved in the affair were sanctioned. William Hartung, Forbes, 11 Oct. 2021 In a high-scoring affair, the Lions (2-1, 2-3) led by 14 points at the half and then broke things wide open in the third quarter against the Falcons (0-3, 0-5). Brent Kennedy,, 2 Oct. 2021 Who to start: Christian Kirk (ARI), Rondale Moore (ARI) and AJ Green (ARI) all deserve flex consideration in this potential high-scoring affair. Eddie Brown, San Diego Union-Tribune, 30 Sep. 2021 Its only win came in a narrow affair against the 0-3 Giants. Jeremy Cluff, The Arizona Republic, 28 Sep. 2021 In a physical affair in which mouth guards flew onto the field several times, the Lancers were able to control the line of scrimmage., 25 Sep. 2021 In a seesaw affair, Steele held off a furious comeback from Wagner to win 28-21 and stay unbeaten in District 27-6A on Friday night at Rutledge Stadium. Jim Martinez, San Antonio Express-News, 25 Sep. 2021 March 2, 1987 - Gates withdraws his nomination due to continued questioning about his involvement in the Iran-Contra affair. CNN, 17 Sep. 2021 Previous week: 7 The Sentinels prevailed in a low-scoring affair over Westlake, lofting them into the top five. Alex Vejar, The Salt Lake Tribune, 13 Sep. 2021

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.

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First Known Use of affair

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for 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 at entry 1, do entry 1

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Time Traveler for affair

Time Traveler

The first known use of affair was in the 14th century

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Dictionary Entries Near affair



affaire d'amour

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Statistics for affair

Last Updated

15 Oct 2021

Cite this Entry

“Affair.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 18 Oct. 2021.

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More Definitions for affair



English Language Learners Definition of affair

: 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 : love affair


af·​fair | \ ə-ˈfer How to pronounce affair (audio) \

Kids Definition of affair

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.

More from Merriam-Webster on affair

Nglish: Translation of affair for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of affair for Arabic Speakers


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