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]

affairs (əˈfɛəz)
pl n
1.  personal or business interests: his affairs were in disorder
2.  matters of public interest: current affairs

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
They yield to the leaders of their group, but they also sneak off to engage in
  clandestine affairs when no one's looking.
Then an establishment newspaper offered him a column-writing about foreign, but
  not domestic, affairs.
At these extravagant affairs, more is indeed merrier.
The palace was once the royal residence and is still used for state functions
  and formal affairs.
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