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

Casey Cadwallader, Mugler’s creative director, studied architecture before making a name for himself through stints at Narciso Rodriguez and Acne Studios, and his affinity for an avant-garde, bold silhouette is definitely on display here. Teen Vogue, "Sophie Turner Wears Mugler Little Black Dress During "X-Men" Press Tour in Paris," 27 Apr. 2019 My affinity for dipping sauces and my tendency to fix a plate like a painter’s palette with a dollop of every sauce available earned me the nickname of Condiment Queen in college. Elissa Sanci, Woman's Day, "I Ate Like Queen Elizabeth For a Week, and It Was a Royal Pain," 18 Apr. 2019 Just as Trump was able to supply gossip to Pecker, Trump might have been able to provide interesting tidbits on Russian oligarchs outside of Russia, particularly given their affinity for investing in Trump properties. Alex Finley - Center For Public Integrity, Vox, "Trump got the National Enquirer to bury his secrets. Did he do the same with Putin?," 21 Dec. 2018 Or make your affinity for pickles known throughout your home with an ornament or scented candle. Blake Bakkila, Good Housekeeping, "I Tried Pickle Chapstick and It’s the Perfect Stocking Stuffer," 13 Nov. 2018 One interesting parallel between West and Rodman, aside from their affinity for the windy city, stems from their love for Donald Trump. Carl Lamarre, Billboard, "Kanye West Receives Autographed Dennis Rodman Jersey, Calls Him 'One of His Biggest Inspirations'," 10 July 2018 Notable professional players such as Rory McIlroy and New England native Keegan Bradley have voiced their affinity for TPC Boston in the past. Owen Pence, BostonGlobe.com, "PGA Tour schedule change will have major impact on Boston event," 10 July 2018 While his focus is geared toward productivity on the court, off the hardwood the 23-year-old has taken to Twitter to showcase his affinity for Chipotle. Clevis Murray, azcentral, "Phoenix Suns' Alec Peters searching for NBA role," 9 July 2018 George, who grew up in Palmdale, California and attended Fresno State, had been open about his affinity for Laker Land. Sam Amick, USA TODAY, "Party time in OKC: Paul George agrees to re-sign with Thunder," 30 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

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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Statistics for affinity

Last Updated

7 May 2019

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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

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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More from Merriam-Webster on affinity

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with affinity

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for affinity

Spanish Central: Translation of affinity

Nglish: Translation of affinity for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of affinity for Arabic Speakers

Comments on affinity

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