affinity

noun
af·​fin·​i·​ty | \ ə-ˈfi-nə-tē How to pronounce affinity (audio) \
plural affinities

Definition of affinity

 (Entry 1 of 2)

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

affinity

adjective

Definition of affinity (Entry 2 of 2)

chemistry : of, relating to, involving, or used in affinity chromatography The unwanted antibodies are removed in affinity columns, which contain a matrix to which other antibodies have already been allowed to bind …Scientific American Although affinity labeling was originally developed for the investigation of enzymes, it has also added significantly to the study of the structure of active sites in other systems …— Meir Wilchek et al.

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Choose the Right Synonym for affinity

Noun

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

Noun 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: Noun My affinity for Bryant, Hines and Powell unfairly knocks him out. Doug Lesmerises, cleveland, "Ohio State football’s All-Decade Team -- my version of a full 85-player roster: Doug Lesmerises," 4 July 2020 Little Archie shares his father's affinity for the warmer weather. Stephanie Petit, PEOPLE.com, "Kate Middleton and Prince William Show Off Lockdown Tans — and Princess Beatrice Has a New Hair Color!," 30 June 2020 Feaster is well known locally for his affinity for those Nazi flags and young neighbors have tried stealing the banners before. NBC News, "Oklahoma woman shot in the back while trying to steal man's Nazi flag, authorities say," 30 June 2020 And a deep dive into the social media profiles of new cast members Brett Caprioni and Max Boyens revealed that the Vanderpump Rules stars had an affinity towards usage of the n-word. Ineye Komonibo, refinery29.com, "Is This The End Of Vanderpump Rules As We Know It? Maybe It Should Be," 16 June 2020 An affinity for Bitcoin is perhaps more suited to the mentality of high-risk, venture capital investing. Robert Hackett, Fortune, "Big investors like Bitcoin for the wrong reason," 14 June 2020 As a result, the consequences of America’s subsequent affinity for war, whether real or ersatz, take a backseat to gearing up for the next go-round. Andrew J. Bacevich, The New Republic, "Will 2020 Finally Kill America’s War Fetish?," 9 June 2020 The idea of workplace affinity groups entered corporate America more than 50 years ago with Xerox, as a response to anti-black prejudice following the 1964 race riots in Rochester, N.Y., where Xerox was founded. Nitasha Tiku, Washington Post, "When tech companies want to fix their race problem, the work often falls on unpaid employee groups," 26 June 2020 It’s not for affinity groups, like every single thing that’s on Reddit. Arielle Pardes, Wired, "Why Slack's CEO Doesn't Want to 'Kill Email'," 24 June 2020

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

Noun

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Adjective

1962, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for affinity

Noun

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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Learn More about affinity

Time Traveler for affinity

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for affinity

Last Updated

11 Jul 2020

Cite this Entry

“Affinity.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/affinity. Accessed 12 Jul. 2020.

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More Definitions for affinity

affinity

noun
How to pronounce affinity (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of affinity

formal
: 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 How to pronounce affinity (audio) \
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 How to pronounce affinity (audio) \
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 How to pronounce affinity (audio) \
plural affinities

Legal Definition of affinity

: relationship by marriage — compare consanguinity

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Comments on affinity

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