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 Michael Cohen, Trump’s former attorney, also admitted to paying adult film actress, Stormy Daniels, $130,000 in hush money to keep their affair a secret. Tanya A. Christian, Essence, "Elizabeth Warren Calls Trump Administration ‘The Most Corrupt Administration Of Our Lifetimes’," 16 Sep. 2019 Memoirs tell a deceased woman’s children of her four-day affair in 1965 with a photographer on assignment. Los Angeles Times, "Movies on TV this week Sept. 15, 2019: ‘Alien,’ ‘Aliens’ and more," 13 Sep. 2019 Benefits for creditors Clearly, bankruptcy provides debtors with significant power to rearrange their business affairs. Lindsey Simon, The Conversation, "How corporate bankruptcy works," 12 Sep. 2019 The Jolie-Pitt clan is famously private about their familial affairs. Chelsey Sanchez, Harper's BAZAAR, "Maddox Jolie-Pitt Talks About His Relationship with Dad Brad Pitt in a New Video," 11 Sep. 2019 Chinese foreign ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said Maas’s ‘‘political show’’ with Wong displayed disrespect to China’s sovereignty and was an interference in its internal affairs., "HONG KONG — Thousands of Hong Kong soccer fans booed loudly and turned their backs when the Chinese national anthem was played before a World Cup qualifier match against Iran on Tuesday, taking the city’s months of protests into the sports realm.," 11 Sep. 2019 The Crawleys’ and their servants’ affairs and silverware disasters were a pleasure to watch. Nick Romano,, "Downton Abbey movie reviews point to decadent fan service," 10 Sep. 2019 Dureau’s unassisted game tying goal in the Sept. 6 game against the Chiefs wasn’t your ordinary affair. Samantha Meese, oregonlive, "On the Portland Winterhawks: Unsung Heroes," 8 Sep. 2019 Her minority affairs beat focuses on diversity and ethnic communities. Elaine Ayala,, "Mexican American coalition’s history comes into clear focus in San Antonio," 7 Sep. 2019

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

25 Oct 2019

Time Traveler for affair

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

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More Definitions for affair


How to pronounce affair (audio)

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


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

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for affair

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with affair

Spanish Central: Translation of affair

Nglish: Translation of affair for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of affair for Arabic Speakers

Comments on affair

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


not being in agreement or harmony

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