affinity

noun
af·fin·i·ty | \ə-ˈfi-nə-tē \
plural affinities

Definition of affinity 

1 : relationship by marriage

2a : sympathy marked by community of interest : kinship She has an affinity to him because of their common musical interests.

b(1) : an attraction to or liking for something people with an affinity to darkness— Mark Twain pork and fennel have a natural affinity for each other— Abby Mandel

(2) : an attractive force between substances or particles that causes them to enter into and remain in chemical combination

c : a person especially of the opposite sex having a particular attraction for one

3a : likeness based on relationship or causal connection found an affinity between the teller of a tale and the craftsman— Mary McCarthy this investigation, with affinities to a case history, a psychoanalysis, a detective story— Oliver Sacks

b : a relation between biological groups involving resemblance in structural plan and indicating a common origin

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Choose the Right Synonym for affinity

attraction, affinity, sympathy mean the relationship existing between things or persons that are naturally or involuntarily drawn together. attraction implies the possession by one thing of a quality that pulls another to it. felt an attraction to danger affinity implies a susceptibility or predisposition on the part of the one drawn. an affinity for mathematics sympathy implies a reciprocal or natural relation between two things that are both susceptible to the same influence. two minds in sympathy

Examples of affinity in a Sentence

Jefferson's personal debts continued to mount …  . His addiction to French wine, like his affinity for French ideas, never came to grips with the more mundane realities. — Joseph J. Ellis, American Heritage, May/June 1993 … neither virus has an affinity for T cells. — Robert C. Gallo, Scientific American, 1987 Animals sharing this basic architecture may have no closer affinity than a beetle and a squid. — Stephen Jay Gould, Natural History, 1985 There's always been an affinity between us. He never felt any affinity with the other kids in his neighborhood.
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Recent Examples on the Web

Mr Lynch betrays an affinity for spirituality, numerology, conspiracy theories and fate. The Economist, "David Lynch’s memoir illuminates the origins of his art," 14 June 2018 The couple, who clearly have an affinity for being photographed on grand flights of stairs, posed lovingly and candidly in their ceremony ensembles, with the bride cracking a huge, genuine smile and the groom gazing down on her adoringly. Carrie Goldberg, Harper's BAZAAR, "Meghan and Harry's First Portraits Were Just Released–Here's How They Compare to Kate and William's," 21 May 2018 Robyn is a confident vegan from the Bronx with no affinity for Midwestern nice. Chris Jones, chicagotribune.com, "In 'The Roommate' at Steppenwolf, directed by Phylicia Rashad, the Bronx meets Midwestern nice," 1 July 2018 The Skyler episode, though, puts a fine point on how certain social conventions can be liberating when embraced out of sincere affinity. Spencer Kornhaber, The Atlantic, "How Queer Is Queer Eye?," 15 June 2018 The platform announced the show’s return with a short video, showing the boys in a group text chain discussing the success of the show (and making fun of Antoni’s affinity for avocados). Stephen Daw, Billboard, "'Queer Eye:' The Fab Five Are Set to Return For Season 2 This June," 24 May 2018 Often the con men are expert storytellers, weaving an illusion of affinity and trust out of half-truths and outright lies. Daniel Mendelsohn, Town & Country, "How Notorious White-Collar Criminals Use Their Friends and Social Connections," 4 Nov. 2016 Much like Hepburn, the Duchess has a growing affinity for the house of Givenchy. Chrissy Rutherford, Harper's BAZAAR, "Duchess Meghan Channels Audrey Hepburn for Royal Ascot Debut," 19 June 2018 And because the playhouse stage is a wide, deep, square floor-level arrangement, Playhouse on Park has a special affinity for shows set on city streets. Christopher Arnott, courant.com, "A Highly Entertaining, Energetic 'In the Heights' At Playhouse On Park," 18 June 2018

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

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for affinity

Middle English affinite, borrowed from Anglo-French & Latin; Anglo-French affinité, borrowed from Latin affīnitāt-, affīnitās, from affīnis "bordering (on), related by marriage, connected (with)" (from ad- ad- + fīnis "boundary, limit") + -itāt-, -itās -ity — more at final entry 1

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Statistics for affinity

Last Updated

8 Oct 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for affinity

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

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More Definitions for affinity

affinity

noun

English Language Learners Definition of affinity

: a feeling of closeness and understanding that someone has for another person because of their similar qualities, ideas, or interests

: a liking for or an attraction to something

: a quality that makes people or things suited to each other

affinity

noun
af·fin·i·ty | \ə-ˈfi-nə-tē \
plural affinities

Kids Definition of affinity

: a strong liking for or attraction to someone or something They had much in common and felt a close affinity.

affinity

noun
af·fin·i·ty | \ə-ˈfin-ət-ē \
plural affinities

Medical Definition of affinity 

1 : an attractive force between substances or particles that causes them to enter into and remain in chemical combination

2 : a relation between biological groups involving resemblance in structural plan and indicating a common origin

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affinity

noun
af·fin·i·ty | \ə-ˈfi-nə-tē \
plural affinities

Legal Definition of affinity 

: relationship by marriage — compare consanguinity

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Comments on affinity

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