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 Other presidents had genuine affinity for the game. Peter Baker, New York Times, "Missing From Friday’s World Series Lineup in Washington: The President," 24 Oct. 2019 Though Marston borrows a lot from modern dance — fluidity of the torso, copious floor work and a pinch of tanztheater, for example — these motifs harken more to ballet’s conventional use of pantomime than modern dance’s affinity for gesture. Lauren Warnecke, chicagotribune.com, "Review: Joffrey’s cast is terrific in ‘Jane Eyre,’ but bring your crib sheet," 17 Oct. 2019 While the writer/director's cultural nuance came on campus, Bong's affinity for genre started long before that. Nathan Mattise, Ars Technica, "On Netflix and next projects, a night in genre-king Bong Joon-Ho’s lecture hall," 28 Sep. 2019 Some locale-specific terms and a nod to Denver’s affinity for dog-friendly businesses. Josie Sexton, The Know, "Yelp’s “top phrases that define Denver” read like our basic restaurant instincts," 25 Sep. 2019 We were both raised Catholic, but neither of us feels any affinity for the church or its teachings anymore. Abigail Van Buren, Twin Cities, "Dear Abby: New girlfriend nixes time spent with kids and ex-wife," 12 Nov. 2019 To start putting things right, Mr Modi needs to appoint an economic team based on competence rather than affinity for the Hindu-nationalist ideology of his Bharatiya Janata Party. The Economist, "Narendra Modi’s muddle," 25 Oct. 2019 Galonski's take on the primary suggests Biden's support among at least some of his black backers is a matter of pragmatism rather than affinity. Jonathan Allen, NBC News, "Conservatives look to crack Biden's black-and-white coalition," 11 Oct. 2019 But the affinities between Trump and the New Right go beyond their ethnopluralism and fear of mass immigration. Sylvia Taschka, The Conversation, "Trump’s America shines bright for Europe’s radical New Right," 7 Oct. 2019

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

3 Dec 2019

Cite this Entry

“Affinity.” The Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/affinity. Accessed 9 December 2019.

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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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