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[af-ek-tey-shuh n] /ˌæf ɛkˈteɪ ʃən/
an effort to appear to have a quality not really or fully possessed; the pretense of actual possession:
an affectation of interest in art; affectation of great wealth.
conspicuous artificiality of manner or appearance; effort to attract notice by pretense, assumption, or any assumed peculiarity.
a trait, action, or expression characterized by such artificiality:
a man of a thousand affectations.
  1. strenuous pursuit, desire, or aspiration.
  2. affection; fondness:
    his affectation of literature.
Origin of affectation
1540-50; < Latin affectātiōn- (stem of affectātiō) a striving after, equivalent to affectāt(us), past participle of affectāre to affect2 (see -ate1) + -iōn- -ion
Related forms
nonaffectation, noun
Can be confused
affectation, affection.
2. pretension, airs, mannerisms, pose.
2. artlessness, simplicity, sincerity. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for affectation
  • The affectation for authenticity that reviewers flattered themselves for wanting does not stand above the character on the screen.
  • He has something to tell, and he tells it clearly and without affectation.
  • Nonfunctional fender vent, right, is an affectation.
  • Traditional cooking is nothing more than pointless affectation.
  • Beyond these bits of mild nonsense and odd affectation are real merit and considerable merriment.
  • Wisely, he jettisoned this affectation in favor of a more conventional appetizer-and-main-course approach.
  • Instead, his direction is calm and selective, extremely artful in its affectation of detachment.
  • The name is perfect, conveying as it does the affectation of no affectation.
  • But affection and affectation don't sit well together.
  • It's part of the job requirements and not some narcissistic affectation.
British Dictionary definitions for affectation


an assumed manner of speech, dress, or behaviour, esp one that is intended to impress others
(often foll by of) deliberate pretence or false display: affectation of nobility
Word Origin
C16: from Latin affectātiōn- an aiming at, striving after, from affectāre; see affect²
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
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Word Origin and History for affectation

"studied display," 1540s, from French affectation (16c.) or directly from Latin affectationem (nominative affectatio) "a striving after, a claiming," noun of action from past participle stem of affectare "to strive for" (see affect (v.2)).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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