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 Italy has always had a great affinity with manufacture, of course, but even so, the scale and concentration of yacht makers in this enclave of barely 60,000 people is remarkable. Paul Croughton, Robb Report, "The Life Aquatic: Inside the April 2021 Issue of Robb Report," 11 Apr. 2021 Watchmaker Breitling enjoys a particularly strong historical affinity with aviation, especially in the military. Mike Espindle, Forbes, "Spirit Of The Sky: 4 High-Flying Watches Take Off," 8 Apr. 2021 But Monday’s 48 degrees nevertheless had a stronger numerical affinity with the average high temperature for mid-February than with the middle of March. Washington Post, "Winter seemed on its way back on Monday in Washington in many ways," 16 Mar. 2021 In doing so, rappers and the poets who claim affinity with them are resuscitating a body of literary practices mostly neglected in poetry during the 20th century. Adam Bradley, New York Times, "The Artists Dismantling the Barriers Between Rap and Poetry," 4 Mar. 2021 In Sag Harbor, Wimberley found an affinity with local artists, including Herman Cherry, Rae Ferren, and Bunny Dell. Troy Mcmullen, ABC News, "Artist Frank Wimberley, at 94, is still full of surprises," 2 Mar. 2021 Thompson-Royds attributes his affinity for nature’s wild beauty to his youth growing up in the English countryside. Paige Reddinger, Robb Report, "13 Beautiful Pieces of High-End Jewelry to Treat Your Mom This Mother’s Day," 22 Apr. 2021 As a result of the church’s anti-pipiltzintzintli propaganda, Mexico’s cannabis consumers were forced underground to hide their affinity for the plant. Zoe Wilder, Rolling Stone, "Does 4/20 Still Matter?," 19 Apr. 2021 People take a different financial services provider based a little bit on what the merchant accepts and a little bit on their own affinity and a little bit on overall availability. John Detrixhe, Quartz, "Max Levchin on how Affirm plans to survive the land grab in “buy now pay later”," 17 Apr. 2021

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

13 May 2021

Cite this Entry

“Affinity.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/affinity. Accessed 17 May. 2021.

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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

Comments on affinity

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