Word of the Day Archive
Tuesday November 18, 2008
affectation \af-ek-TAY-shuhn\ , noun:
1. an artificial way or talking or behaving put on to impress others; pretense
2. an unnatural action, expression, or trait that indicates artificiality
In a culture of electricity and annual holidays, for example, to pace one's work to the rhythm of the seasons or daylight would amount to affectation.
-- Janet Burroway, Heartbreak Hotel," review of Martin Dressler: The Tale of an American Dreamer, by Steven Millhauser, New York Times, May 11, 1992
I had heard talk that Tosca, for all the dissolute life she led, was a pious person who frequented churches with scrupulous regularity, yet in this conduct I had always suspected a pose, an affectation.
-- Paola Capriolo, Floria Tosca (translated by Liz Heron)
I extended a hand out into the air for no reason, a professorial affectation.
-- John Burnham Schwartz, Reservation Road
Wait! my father shouted with an affectation of sudden comprehension. I recognize you!
-- Ev Ehrlich, Grant Speaks
by 1548, "studied display," from Latin affectationem, from affectare "to strive for"