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

Pieces on view, including an elaborate headdress and a nose ornament (both 1st-7th century), contain dangling elements that would have glittered and made sounds as the wearer moved—evocative reminders of jewelry’s affinity for spectacle. Susan Delson, WSJ, "Bling Through the Ages," 1 Nov. 2018 But his advisers have met with millionaire American investment managers to assure them of López Obrador’s affinity for the free market. Kevin Sieff, Washington Post, "A man who goes by AMLO is the favorite to win Mexico’s presidential election," 29 June 2018 Henry Thoreau’s belief that governmental dependence creates an affinity for the government is exactly what the progressives are counting on, as evidenced by their clamor for unrestricted immigration. WSJ, "Self-Reliance Is Very Un-PC But It Isn’t a Mental Illness," 19 Feb. 2019 Diana displayed a great affinity for young people and became a champion for some the most vulnerable. Katie Frost, Harper's BAZAAR, "9 Reasons Princess Diana Was So Much More Than A Style Icon," 31 Aug. 2018 Image The documentary filmmaker Elaine McMillion Sheldon has a particular affinity for her home state, West Virginia. Glenn Kenny, New York Times, "3 Sobering Documentaries on Netflix, Fandor and Field of Vision," 5 July 2018 While the alignment of McCartney's signature style and Markle's affinity for minimal, clean and sleek cuts feels spot-on, McCartney would be an atypical choice for a silhouette of the size and scale of this particular event. Carrie Goldberg, Harper's BAZAAR, "Stella McCartney Is Likely Designing Meghan Markle's Reception Dress," 18 May 2018 Turns out fliers’ affinity for the red stuff actually has some basis in science. Cnt Editors, Condé Nast Traveler, "The Things We Only Ever Eat and Drink on Planes," 16 May 2018 The conductor’s affinity for propulsion and proportion also helped make the dull, repetitive portions (which is to say most) of Beethoven’s Triple Concerto less troublesome than usual. Tim Smith, baltimoresun.com, "BSO delivers bracing Bernstein program with Benedetti, Alsop," 7 May 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

12 Mar 2019

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

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

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