affinity

noun
af·​fin·​i·​ty | \ ə-ˈfi-nə-tē How to pronounce affinity (audio) \
plural affinities

Essential Meaning of affinity

formal
1 : a feeling of closeness and understanding that someone has for another person because of their similar qualities, ideas, or interests They had much in common and felt a close affinity (for/to/with each other). There's always been an affinity between us. He never felt any affinity with the other kids in his neighborhood.
2 : a liking for or an attraction to something We share an affinity for foreign films. [=we both like foreign films]
3 : a quality that makes people or things suited to each other Fish and white wine have a natural affinity for/to each other. [=fish and white wine taste good together]

Full 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 What if researchers had found one even more similar to SARS-CoV-2, with the same binding affinity for human ACE2, then swapped a furin cleavage site into a clone of that virus in the lab? Carolyn Kormann, The New Yorker, 12 Oct. 2021 The game has also moved toward making elemental affinity on weapons more important, given the rise of elemental well builds and the rework of many exotics to require weapons that match your subclass type. Paul Tassi, Forbes, 11 Oct. 2021 Browning’s affinity for showing the details of police work shines as Jo delves into crime scene investigations, works with other detectives, views street cameras and tackles endless paperwork, while making each step exciting. Oline H. Cogdill, sun-sentinel.com, 11 Oct. 2021 Members of the royal family have carried a stoic presence during public engagements, showcasing the institution's affinity to a stiff-upper-lip attitude. Jorge Mitssunaga, CNN, 10 Oct. 2021 The odd clumsy stab at a jump scare aside, Carolyn doesn’t demonstrate much affinity for, or interest in, building tension. Dennis Harvey, Variety, 6 Oct. 2021 Facebook is putting $50 million toward the XR Programs and Research Fund in an effort to responsibly develop the metaverse, the abstract digital world its co-founder, Mark Zuckerberg, has expressed an affinity for, according to The Verge. Declan Harty, Fortune, 28 Sep. 2021 Bajaria’s affinity for international stories comes naturally. Wendy Lee, Los Angeles Times, 20 Sep. 2021 The talent and affinity for the big stage both possess is unmistakable. BostonGlobe.com, 11 Sep. 2021

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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Dictionary Entries Near affinity

affinitive

affinity

affinity card

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Statistics for affinity

Last Updated

16 Oct 2021

Cite this Entry

“Affinity.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/affinity. Accessed 28 Oct. 2021.

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More Definitions for affinity

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

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

More from Merriam-Webster on affinity

Nglish: Translation of affinity for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of affinity for Arabic Speakers

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