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 combinationc : 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 Sacksb : a relation between biological groups involving resemblance in structural plan and indicating a common origin
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.
Recent Examples of affinity from the Web
Rabb has tools Portland could use, and the Blazers have shown an affinity for Cal products (Allen Crabbe) and Oakland natives (Damian Lillard).
The former has made a career about his affinity for drugs and hasn't lost his shine because of it.
The team's 15 pitchers have an affinity for playing cards.
Both of us told him about Trump’s affinity for the alpha male, grab-and-pull power pump that always seemed to reduce the other person to a rag doll.
Christian’s social media postings indicate an affinity for Nazis and political violence.
Duckworth expressed in a separate letter to Defense Secretary Jim Mattis her concern over Trump’s apparent affinity for Moscow and Russian President Vladimir Putin.
Christian's social media postings indicate an affinity for Nazis and political violence.
Karen Elaine Smith, the teacher killed in a shooting at a San Bernardino elementary school, was described as a caring teacher with a special affinity for working with students with learning disabilities.
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.
Origin and Etymology of affinity
Middle English affinite, from Anglo-French or Latin; Anglo-French affinité, from Latin affinitas, from affinis bordering on, related by marriage, from ad- + finis end, border
First Known Use: 14th century
Synonym Discussion of affinity
AFFINITY Defined for English Language Learners
Definition of affinity for English Language Learners
: 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 Defined for Kids
Definition of affinity for Students
: a strong liking for or attraction to someone or something They had much in common and felt a close affinity.
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
Seen and Heard
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