Synonyms & Antonyms of affection

1 a feeling of strong or constant regard for and dedication to someone
  • an elderly couple showing their affection for each other by little acts of kindness

Synonyms for affection

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2 an abnormal state that disrupts a plant's or animal's normal bodily functioning
  • born with a heart affection that later caused him problems

Synonyms for affection

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Antonyms for affection

4 something that sets apart an individual from others of the same kind
  • religion, of one kind or another, is an affection common to every society known to have existed

Synonyms for affection

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Frequently Asked Questions About affection

How is the word affection distinct from other similar nouns?

Some common synonyms of affection are emotion, feeling, passion, and sentiment. While all these words mean "a subjective response to a person, thing, or situation," affection applies to feelings that are also inclinations or likings.

a memoir of childhood filled with affection for her family

How are the words emotion and feeling related as synonyms of affection?

Emotion carries a strong implication of excitement or agitation but, like feeling, encompasses both positive and negative responses.

the drama portrays the emotions of adolescence

When is feeling a more appropriate choice than affection?

Although the words feeling and affection have much in common, feeling denotes any partly mental, partly physical response marked by pleasure, pain, attraction, or repulsion; it may suggest the mere existence of a response but imply nothing about the nature or intensity of it.

the feelings that once moved me are gone

In what contexts can passion take the place of affection?

The meanings of passion and affection largely overlap; however, passion suggests a very powerful or controlling emotion.

revenge became his ruling passion

When would sentiment be a good substitute for affection?

In some situations, the words sentiment and affection are roughly equivalent. However, sentiment often implies an emotion inspired by an idea.

her feminist sentiments are well known

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Time Traveler for affection

Time Traveler

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

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Cite this Entry

“Affection.” Thesaurus, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 24 Jan. 2022.

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More from Merriam-Webster on affection

Nglish: Translation of affection for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of affection for Arabic Speakers


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