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affinity

[uh-fin-i-tee]
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noun, plural af·fin·i·ties.
  1. a natural liking for or attraction to a person, thing, idea, etc.
  2. a person, thing, idea, etc., for which such a natural liking or attraction is felt.
  3. relationship by marriage or by ties other than those of blood (distinguished from consanguinity).
  4. inherent likeness or agreement; close resemblance or connection.
  5. Biology. the phylogenetic relationship between two organisms or groups of organisms resulting in a resemblance in general plan or structure, or in the essential structural parts.
  6. Chemistry. the force by which atoms are held together in chemical compounds.
adjective
  1. of or relating to persons who share the same interests: to arrange charter flights for opera lovers and other affinity groups.

Origin of affinity

1275–1325; Middle English affinite < Middle French < Latin affīnitās connection by marriage. See affine, -ity
Related formsnon·af·fin·i·ty, noun, plural non·af·fin·i·ties, adjective
Can be confusedaffinity infinity

Synonyms

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1. partiality, fondness; sympathy, leaning, bent. 4. similarity, compatibility.

Antonyms

1. dislike, aversion. 4. dissimilarity, disparity.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

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British Dictionary definitions for affinities

affinity

noun plural -ties
  1. (foll by with or for) a natural liking, taste, or inclination towards a person or thing
  2. the person or thing so liked
  3. a close similarity in appearance or quality; inherent likeness
  4. relationship by marriage or by ties other than of blood, as by adoptionCompare consanguinity
  5. similarity in structure, form, etc, between different animals, plants, or languages
  6. chem
    1. the tendency for two substances to combine; chemical attraction
    2. a measure of the tendency of a chemical reaction to take place expressed in terms of the free energy changeSymbol: A
  7. biology a measure of the degree of interaction between two molecules, such as an antigen and antibody or a hormone and its receptor
Derived Formsaffinitive, adjective

Word Origin

C14: via Old French from Latin affīnitāt- connected by marriage, from affīnis bordering on, related
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

Word Origin and History for affinities

affinity

n.

c.1300, "relation by marriage" (as opposed to consanguinity), from Old French afinité (12c.), from Latin affinitatem (nominative affinitas) "neighborhood, relationship by marriage," noun of state from affinis "adjacent," also "kin by marriage," literally "bordering on," from ad- "to" (see ad-) + finis "a border, an end" (see finish). Used figuratively since c.1600 of structural relationships in chemistry, philology, etc. Meaning "natural attraction" (as though by family) is from 1610s.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

affinities in Medicine

affinity

(ə-fĭnĭ-tē)
n.
  1. An attraction or force between particles that causes them to combine.
  2. The attraction between an antigen and an antibody.
  3. A relationship or resemblance in structure between species that suggests a common origin.
  4. The selective staining of a tissue by a dye.
  5. The selective uptake of a dye, chemical, or other substance by a tissue.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.

affinities in Science

affinity

[ə-fĭnĭ-tē]
  1. A relationship or resemblance in structure between species that suggests a common origin.
  2. An attraction or force between particles that causes them to combine, as the attraction between an antigen and an antibody.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.