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

Heme has even greater affinity for nitric oxide than oxygen, and the body uses nitric oxide as a signaling molecule to control blood pressure. Quanta Magazine, "Icefish Study Adds Another Color to the Story of Blood," 22 Apr. 2019 There’s much to worry about in the Trump approach to the world—a troubling affinity for strongmen, a fixation on tariffs and bilateral trade deficits, a transactional approach to global challenges. Gerard Baker, WSJ, "As Europe Condemns Trump, Asia Takes a More Realistic View," 22 Feb. 2019 Over the past 25 years, Zacharias has retained his affinity for rivers, taking annual canoe trips with friends, including recent Missouri River trips from South Dakota to Kansas City and St. Louis. Lynn Horsley, kansascity, "Johnson County leader had life-changing kayak adventure at 22. At 64, he wants repeat | The Kansas City Star," 21 May 2018 Also in the background are images showing Bradley with his wife, Patricia Blanchet, and his deep affinity for music, particularly jazz. Grace Dickinson, Philly.com, "New mural in West Philadelphia honors the legacy of '60 Minutes' correspondent and journalist Ed Bradley," 16 May 2018 The parlor is also accessorized with elephants, which Jacqueline has had an affinity for since childhood; her interest with the animal that never forgets was reinforced as a young adult. Lennie Omalza, The Courier-Journal, "See inside this stunning remodeled Victorian mansion in Old Louisville," 27 June 2019 Diana had a great affinity with children and recognised the worth of having boots on the ground could affect change in such an important way. Chloe Foussianes, Town & Country, "Meghan Markle and Prince Harry Will Travel to South Africa, Malawi, Botswana, and Angola This Fall," 13 June 2019 In 2014, then-FBI Director James Comey said his agency was having difficulty hiring hackers because of their widespread affinity for marijuana. David Grossman, Popular Mechanics, "New Report Finds DOD "Could Be Pretty Easily Hacked"," 9 Oct. 2018 In April 2017 Yaghi’s group, along with that of M.I.T. mechanical engineer Evelyn Wang, reported on a prototype device incorporating MOF-801, or zirconium fumarate, which has a high affinity for water. Donna J. Nelson, Scientific American, "Off-Grid Devices Draw Drinking Water from Dry Air," 26 June 2017

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

16 Jul 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

Comments on affinity

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