af·​fect·​ing | \ ə-ˈfek-tiŋ How to pronounce affecting (audio) , a- \

Definition of affecting

: evoking a strong emotional response

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from affecting

affectingly \ ə-​ˈfek-​tiŋ-​lē How to pronounce affecting (audio) , a-​ \ adverb

Choose the Right Synonym for affecting

moving, impressive, poignant, affecting, touching, pathetic mean having the power to produce deep emotion. moving may apply to any strong emotional effect including thrilling, agitating, saddening, or calling forth pity or sympathy. a moving appeal for contributions impressive implies compelling attention, admiration, wonder, or conviction. an impressive list of achievements poignant applies to what keenly or sharply affects one's sensitivities. a poignant documentary on the homeless affecting is close to moving but most often suggests pathos. an affecting deathbed reunion touching implies arousing tenderness or compassion. the touching innocence in a child's eyes pathetic implies moving to pity or sometimes contempt. pathetic attempts to justify misconduct

Examples of affecting in a Sentence

He begins his book with an affecting description of his difficult childhood. the affecting final scene in the play, when the children are reunited with their father
Recent Examples on the Web Even slightly scruffy and without any Crazy Rich gloss, Golding is magnetic (and unreasonably handsome) as Kit, his understated emotional journey credible and affecting. Mary Sollosi,, "Monsoon is an aching reflection on love and home: Review," 13 Nov. 2020 Some of the most affecting moments draw on the dynamic between Brown, whose perspective on the world is ferociously fixed, and Henry, who is just trying to survive and, if possible, have a little fun. Doreen St. Félix, The New Yorker, "The Mischievous Irreverence of “The Good Lord Bird”," 26 Oct. 2020 Barnett becomes Jones’s champion and lawyer, and their quest for Jones’s freedom is the book’s longest story and its most affecting. Washington Post, "A young lawyer battling for women caught up in mass incarceration," 16 Oct. 2020 Such poetic images are, however, as rare as the moments of kindness—toward children, cows or other livestock—that are all the more affecting for being so scarce. Anna Mundow, WSJ, "‘The Discomfort of Evening’ Review: Child of Sin," 2 Oct. 2020 Ironically, the most affecting aspect of a memoir ostensibly about a life lived apart is its portrayal of Mr. Adams’s enduring bonds with two dear friends. Michael O’donnell, WSJ, "‘Silences So Deep’ Review: Northern Symphony," 2 Oct. 2020 Davidson excels at elevating small lines, almost throwaways, into something more affecting. Bill Goodykoontz, azcentral, "Pete Davidson shines in Judd Apatow's messy, rewarding movie 'The King of Staten Island'," 9 June 2020 One of the more affecting plotlines involves this program’s sincere appeal to Philip’s older brother Sandy (Caleb Malis), and the generational terror this strikes in his parents. David Klion, The New Republic, "The Plot Against America’s Powerful Warning," 16 Mar. 2020 The Ailey company has always told stories about the black experience — Ailey founded it as a vehicle for that — but now the subject matter, imagery and idiom are sharper, more affecting and memorable. Sarah L. Kaufman, Washington Post, "The tragic beauty of Alvin Ailey’s politically charged dance programs," 5 Feb. 2020

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

See More

First Known Use of affecting

1720, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for affecting

from present participle of affect entry 2

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about affecting

Time Traveler for affecting

Time Traveler

The first known use of affecting was in 1720

See more words from the same year

Statistics for affecting

Last Updated

25 Nov 2020

Cite this Entry

“Affecting.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 24 Jan. 2021.

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for affecting


How to pronounce affecting (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of affecting

: causing a feeling of sadness or sympathy

Keep scrolling for more

Comments on affecting

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


Test Your Vocabulary

Slippery Words Quiz—Changing with the Times

  • ducreux self portrait yawning
  • What is an earlier meaning of nice?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?


Anagram puzzles meet word search.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!