- 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.
Origin of affair
Examples from the Web for affair
For Kirke it was being paid to pretend to play the oboe that heightened her affair with classical music.‘Mozart in the Jungle’: Inside Amazon’s Brave New World of Sex, Drugs, and Classical Music
December 23, 2014
As it was, The Affair ended its first season last night with me contemplating hurling my television out of the window.What On Earth Is ‘The Affair’ About? Season One’s Baffling Finale
December 22, 2014
Zilch, what with Showtime's other steamy sex-heavy drama, The Affair, stealing its thunder.15 Enraging Golden Globe TV Snubs and Surprises: Amy Poehler, 'Mad Men' & More
December 11, 2014
Whatever else it qualifies for, The Affair is one of the most uncomfortable hours of television of the week.
There are just two episodes to go in The Affair, and many portents that things are not going to end well.
In this affair real meanings are rarely conveyed except by silences.The Spenders
Harry Leon Wilson
"My aunt will treat the affair like the sensible woman she is," replied the earl.Weighed and Wanting
If she wanted to do the sort of thing she was doing, that was her affair.
But Joe's affair with Sidney had been the talk of the neighborhood.
I thought, the moment I saw you, that you were here for this affair.In the Midst of Alarms
- a thing to be done or attended to; matter; businessthis affair must be cleared up
- an event or happeninga strange affair
- (qualified by an adjective or descriptive phrase) something previously specified, esp a man-made object; thingour house is a tumbledown affair
- a sexual relationship between two people who are not married to each other
Word Origin and History for affair
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]