anything done or to be done; anything requiring action or effort; business; concern: an affair of great importance.
affairs, matters of commercial or public interest or concern; the transactions of public or private business or finance: affairs of state; Before taking such a long trip you should put all your affairs in order.
an event or a performance; a particular action, operation, or proceeding: When did this affair happen?
thing; matter (applied to anything made or existing, usually with a descriptive or qualifying term): Our new computer is an amazing affair.
a private or personal concern; a special function, business, or duty: That's none of your affair.
an intense amorous relationship, usually of short duration.
an event or happening that occasions or arouses notoriety, dispute, and often public scandal; incident: the Congressional bribery affair.
a party, social gathering, or other organized festive occasion: The awards ceremony is the biggest affair on the school calendar.

1250–1300; earlier affaire < French, Old French afaire for a faire to do, equivalent to a (< Latin ad to) + faireLatin facere; replacing Middle English afere < Old French Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
affair (əˈfɛə)
1.  a thing to be done or attended to; matter; business: this affair must be cleared up
2.  an event or happening: a strange affair
3.  (qualified by an adjective or descriptive phrase) something previously specified, esp a man-made object; thing: our house is a tumbledown affair
4.  a sexual relationship between two people who are not married to each other
[C13: from Old French, from à faire to do]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
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Word Origin & History

c.1300, "what one has to do," from Anglo-Norm. afere, from O.Fr. afaire, from the infinitive phrase à faire "to do" (from L. ad "to" + facere "to do, make;" see factitious). A Northern word originally, brought into general use and given a Fr. spelling by Caxton
(15c.). General sense of "vague proceedings" (in romance, war, etc.) first attested 1702. Affairs "ordinary business" first attested 1484.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Example sentences
No solemn, somber affair for these kids, a pilgrimage is a big party.
Immediately thereupon, student falls enthusiastically into a torrid affair with
His return to the headlines gives the affair a retro feel.
Her house survived, a one-story yellow brick affair with red shutters.
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