affect 1 of 2


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verb (2)

Synonym Chooser

How does the verb affect contrast with its synonyms?

Some common synonyms of affect are assume, counterfeit, feign, pretend, sham, and simulate. While all these words mean "to put on a false or deceptive appearance," affect implies making a false show of possessing, using, or feeling.

affected an interest in art

When is assume a more appropriate choice than affect?

The meanings of assume and affect largely overlap; however, assume often implies a justifiable motive rather than an intent to deceive.

assumed an air of cheerfulness around the patients

When could counterfeit be used to replace affect?

While in some cases nearly identical to affect, counterfeit implies achieving the highest degree of verisimilitude of any of these words.

an actor counterfeiting drunkenness

How does the word feign relate to other synonyms for affect?

Feign implies more artful invention than pretend, less specific mimicry than simulate.

feigned sickness

When is it sensible to use pretend instead of affect?

The words pretend and affect are synonyms, but do differ in nuance. Specifically, pretend implies an overt and sustained false appearance.

pretended that nothing had happened

When would sham be a good substitute for affect?

In some situations, the words sham and affect are roughly equivalent. However, sham implies an obvious falseness that fools only the gullible.

shammed a most unconvincing limp

When might simulate be a better fit than affect?

The synonyms simulate and affect are sometimes interchangeable, but simulate suggests a close imitation of the appearance of something.

cosmetics that simulate a suntan

Thesaurus Entries Near affect

Cite this Entry

“Affect.” Thesaurus, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 17 Apr. 2024.

More from Merriam-Webster on affect

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