affair

noun
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 restaurant—featuring vegetables grown on the farm, meats and charcuterie from the ranch, and homemade ice cream—is a charming outdoor affair where diners sit under palapas surrounded by gardens. Ingrid Abramovitch, ELLE Decor, "A Design Lover's Guide to the Baja Peninsula," 29 Mar. 2019 The agent asked if anyone from Border Patrol or public affairs was there to authorize their presence. Colleen Long, chicagotribune.com, "Border Protection says New York Mayor De Blasio crossed border illegally," 11 July 2018 John Milburn, the department's director of legislative and public affairs, said via email that process is usually done within 30 days. Andy Marso, kansascity, "Backed by three law firms, Amerigroup files formal protest of new KanCare contracts," 10 July 2018 The Houston pipeline company's vice president of public affairs, attending the annual livestock auction, bid $4,700 on champion ducks, chickens and rabbits to support the school children who raised them. Katherine Blunt, Houston Chronicle, "Pipeline companies launch charm offensive," 4 July 2018 Captain Jessica Tait, a public affairs officer for the U.S. Air Force, said Thai authorities were battling extremely unfavorable circumstances that got progressively worse. Time, "A Youth Soccer Team Has Been Trapped in a Thai Cave for More Than a Week. Here's Why It's Taking So Long to Find Them," 2 July 2018 For example, for affairs like state dinners at Buckingham Palace, the Queen is usually the first to lead the procession into the venue with the guest of honor. Erica Gonzales, Harper's BAZAAR, "Why Prince Harry Sat in Front of Kate Middleton During the Anzac Service in Westminster Abbey," 25 Apr. 2019 Kushner has cultivated a personal relationship with MBS while serving as senior White House adviser for Middle East affairs. Alex Ward, Vox, "Why Jared Kushner reportedly wants Trump to stand by Saudi Arabia," 18 Oct. 2018 So yeah, my background is in politics and public affairs. Recode Staff, Recode, "How bots amplify hoaxes and propaganda on social media," 2 Aug. 2018

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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Statistics for affair

Last Updated

10 May 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for affair

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

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More Definitions for affair

affair

noun

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

affair

noun
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.

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More from Merriam-Webster on affair

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with affair

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for affair

Spanish Central: Translation of affair

Nglish: Translation of affair for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of affair for Arabic Speakers

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