af·​fec·​tion·​ate | \ə-ˈfek-sh(ə-)nət \

Definition of affectionate 

1 : feeling or showing affection or warm regard : loving affectionate friends an affectionate nickname

2 : motivated by affection : tender affectionate care

3 obsolete : inclined, disposed

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from affectionate

affectionately adverb

Synonyms & Antonyms for affectionate


adoring, devoted, fond, loving, tender, tenderhearted



Visit the Thesaurus for More 

Examples of affectionate in a Sentence

an affectionate child who gives hugs and kisses freely

Recent Examples on the Web

Their public appearances such as this recent Hamilton theatre trip, the RAF Centenary event with its spicy arm-holding, and the Toronto Invictus Games with some raunchy head-kissing, have all included adorable, affectionate (but never OTT) moments. Lucy Wood, Marie Claire, "Prince Harry and Meghan Markle Shared an Understated PDA Moment at 'Hamilton'," 30 Aug. 2018 Vox reports that a salmonella outbreak has affected more than 180 people across the country, and it's being spread by people getting affectionate with chickens. Megan Friedman, Country Living, "The CDC Is Warning People Not to Cuddle Their Pet Chickens After a Series of Salmonella Outbreaks," 8 June 2017 Once chummy and physically affectionate (in a manly man kind of way), the two world leaders have begun airing their ideological differences and policy disagreements more openly. Rachel Withers, Vox, "Macron denounces nationalism as avowed “nationalist” Trump stands steps away," 11 Nov. 2018 Now, weeks later, Davidson is reveling in what is clearly a very affectionate relationship. Rebecca Farley,, "Pete Davidson Feels "Reborn" After Dating Ariana Grande," 8 June 2018 Philipps later posted on Instagram a shot of the two on the carpet appearing affectionate. Ale Russian,, "Busy Philipps Calls 'Girlfriend' Michelle Williams 'a Dream' in Sweet Post," 18 Apr. 2018 Tonto’s affectionate moniker for the Lone Ranger on the radio and TV series of that name. Marc Fisher, Washington Post, "Dan Ingram, popular DJ who poked fun at his own medium, dies at 83," 28 June 2018 The setting is minimal, the costumes pleasantly generic, Karla Puno Garcia’s choreography decidedly low profile and Mr. Schmoll’s direction affectionate and barely there. Alexis Soloski, New York Times, "Review: ‘Gone Missing,’ Now a Poignant Reminder of a Life Cut Short," 12 July 2018 The blurred lines extend well beyond affectionate greetings., "Trump Orders Commerce Department to Consider Probe on Auto Imports," 8 Mar. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'affectionate.' 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 affectionate

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 3

History and Etymology for affectionate

partly borrowed from Medieval Latin affectiōnātus "inclined, disposed, well-disposed," from Latin affectiōn-, affectiō affection + -ātus -ate entry 3; partly formed from affection + -ate entry 3 after Middle French affectionné "having affection for," past participle of affectionner "to have affection for," derivative of affection

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about affectionate

Share affectionate

Statistics for affectionate

Last Updated

1 Dec 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for affectionate

The first known use of affectionate was in the 15th century

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for affectionate



English Language Learners Definition of affectionate

: feeling or showing love and affection


af·​fec·​tion·​ate | \ə-ˈfek-shə-nət \

Kids Definition of affectionate

: feeling or showing a great liking for a person or thing : loving an affectionate friend

Other Words from affectionate

affectionately adverb She patted his head affectionately.

Keep scrolling for more

Comments on affectionate

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


amusing and light sparring with words

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Late Autumn 2018 Words of the Day Quiz

  • frosted-autumn-leaves
  • Which is a synonym of yahoo?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Word Winder's CrossWinder

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.


Love words? Need even more definitions?

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