follow Dictionary.com

Write a Super Short Story to win an iPod!

affair

[uh-fair] /əˈfɛər/
noun
1.
anything done or to be done; anything requiring action or effort; business; concern:
an affair of great importance.
2.
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.
3.
an event or a performance; a particular action, operation, or proceeding:
When did this affair happen?
4.
thing; matter (applied to anything made or existing, usually with a descriptive or qualifying term):
Our new computer is an amazing affair.
5.
a private or personal concern; a special function, business, or duty:
That's none of your affair.
6.
an intense amorous relationship, usually of short duration.
7.
an event or happening that occasions or arouses notoriety, dispute, and often public scandal; incident:
the Congressional bribery affair.
8.
a party, social gathering, or other organized festive occasion:
The awards ceremony is the biggest affair on the school calendar.
Origin
1250-1300
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
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
Cite This Source
Examples from the web for affair
  • No solemn, somber affair for these kids, a pilgrimage is a big party.
  • One business that has totally boomed through these tough economic times is the affair business.
  • Immediately thereupon, student falls enthusiastically into a torrid affair with professor.
  • His return to the headlines gives the affair a retro feel.
  • Her house survived, a one-story yellow brick affair with red shutters.
  • For you see, my father had carried on a lifelong affair with the sea.
  • It's a blowout affair that includes an unlimited number of roasted ears for every participant.
  • The evolution of life has not been an orderly affair.
  • The wake of the affair will be a long one and no doubt in time its effects will lessen.
  • Temperatures in summer can soar, and soupy humidity can make long walks a wilting and steamy affair.
British Dictionary definitions for affair

affair

/əˈfɛə/
noun
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
See also affairs
Word Origin
C13: from Old French, from à faire to do
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
Cite This Source
Word Origin and History for affair
n.

c.1300, "what one has to do," from Anglo-French afere, Old French afaire (12c., Modern French affaire) "business, event; rank, estate," from the infinitive phrase à faire "to do," from Latin ad "to" (see ad-) + facere "to do, make" (see factitious).

A Northern word originally, brought into general use and given a French spelling by Caxton (15c.). General sense of "vague proceedings" (in romance, war, etc.) first attested 1702. Meaning "an affair of the heart; a passionate episode" is from French affaire de coeur (itself attested in English from 1809); to have an affair with someone in this sense is by 1726, earlier have an affair of love:

'Tis manifeſtly contrary to the Law of Nature, that one Woman ſhould cohabit or have an Affair of Love with more than one Man at the ſame time. ["Pufendorf's Law of Nature and Nations," transl. J. Spavan, London, 1716]



Thus, in our dialect, a vicious man is a man of pleasure, a sharper is one that plays the whole game, a lady is said to have an affair, a gentleman to be a gallant, a rogue in business to be one that knows the world. By this means, we have no such things as sots, debauchees, whores, rogues, or the like, in the beau monde, who may enjoy their vices without incurring disagreeable appellations. [George Berkeley, "Alciphron or the Minute Philosopher," 1732]

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Difficulty index for affair

Most English speakers likely know this word

Word Value for affair

12
12
Scrabble Words With Friends

Quotes with affair

Nearby words for affair