verb (1)

Synonyms & Antonyms of affect

(Entry 1 of 2)

1 to act upon (a person or a person's feelings) so as to cause a response
  • their son claims that scary movies don't affect him in the least

Synonyms for affect

Words Related to affect

Phrases Synonymous with affect

Near Antonyms for affect

2 to be the business or affair of
  • fortunately, hurricane season doesn't affect the West Coast

Synonyms for affect

Words Related to affect


verb (2)

Synonyms & Antonyms of affect (Entry 2 of 2)

1 to present a false appearance of
  • she affected complete unawareness that we were talking about her, though she must have overheard

Synonyms for affect

Words Related to affect

Phrases Synonymous with affect

2 to go to or spend time in often
  • a power couple known to affect all the fancy parties in town

Synonyms for affect

Words Related to affect

Near Antonyms for affect

Antonyms for affect

See the Dictionary Definition 

Frequently Asked Questions About affect

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about affect

Time Traveler for affect

Time Traveler

The first known use of affect was in the 14th century

See more words from the same century

Cite this Entry

“Affect.” Thesaurus, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 21 Sep. 2020.

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on affect

Dictionary: Definition of affect

Medical Dictionary: Definition of affect

Nglish: Translation of affect for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of affect for Arabic Speakers

Comments on affect

What made you want to look up affect? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


Test Your Vocabulary

Homophone Quiz

  • three bears two of them look like theyre whispering to a third bear who looks chuffed to be the center of attention
  • In order to judge how people felt, the senator's office hired a firm to take a ______.
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?


Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!