af·​fec·​tive | \ a-ˈfek-tiv How to pronounce affective (audio) \

Definition of affective

1 : relating to, arising from, or influencing feelings or emotions : emotional cognitive and affective symptoms the novel's affective death scene
2 : expressing emotion affective language behaviors that elicit affective reactions

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Other Words from affective

affectively adverb
affectivity \ ˌa-​ˌfek-​ˈti-​və-​tē How to pronounce affectivity (audio) \ noun

Examples of affective in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

The most emotionally affective writing in this collection, in fact, comes from one of its longest entries: a recollection of the author’s father, written during a trip on the 5,772-mile Trans-Siberian Railway. Tom Zoellner, New York Times, "Paul Theroux’s New Book Ranges From Literature to Landscapes, With Surprising Cheer," 1 June 2018 And his compositions have an unusual knack for evoking specific affective states, which lends them a cinematic bent. Mark Richardson, WSJ, "‘Goes West’ by William Tyler Review: Music History in Modern Melody," 23 Jan. 2019 But later added that sensory, cognitive, affective, and motivational processes influence people’s experience of pain. Nancy Richardson Fischer, Harper's BAZAAR, "The Power of Not Naming My Disorder," 3 Dec. 2018 But there is good news from research in affective science, also known as the study of emotions., "How to stay positive in a negative world," 4 June 2018 Second, affective attack ad campaigns are awfully expensive. Chris Stirewalt, Fox News, "Texas tussle stretches Senate map," 18 Apr. 2018 The same brain areas, particularly those associated with motivation, learning, affective processing, and memory, lit up in close friends. Meghan Overdeep, Southern Living, "Study Finds Close Friends Share Similar Brain Patterns," 11 Apr. 2018 The affective experience of being lost quickly inflates from a local problem of orientation to a general feeling of ontological failure. Lauren Elkin, The Atlantic, "People Will Always Get Lost," 16 Feb. 2018 And yet giving up on nationalism implies relinquishing control over the content and boundaries of this powerful affective identity. Prerna Singh, Washington Post, "Nationalism can have its good points. Really.," 26 Jan. 2018

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

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for affective

Middle English affectif, borrowed from Middle French, borrowed from Late Latin affectīvus, from Latin affectus, past participle of afficere "to produce an effect on, exert an influence on" + -īvus -ive — more at affect entry 1

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Time Traveler for affective

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

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More Definitions for affective


af·​fec·​tive | \ a-ˈfek-tiv How to pronounce affective (audio) \

Medical Definition of affective

: relating to, arising from, or influencing feelings or emotions : emotional affective symptoms

Other Words from affective

affectively adverb
affectivity \ ˌaf-​ˌek-​ˈtiv-​ət-​ē How to pronounce affectivity (audio) \ noun, plural affectivities

More from Merriam-Webster on affective

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with affective

Nglish: Translation of affective for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of affective for Arabic Speakers

Comments on affective

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


one from the Upper Peninsula of Michigan

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