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affect1

[verb uh-fekt; noun af-ekt]
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verb (used with object)
  1. to act on; produce an effect or change in: Cold weather affected the crops.
  2. to impress the mind or move the feelings of: The music affected him deeply.
  3. (of pain, disease, etc.) to attack or lay hold of.
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noun
  1. Psychology. feeling or emotion.
  2. Psychiatry. an expressed or observed emotional response: Restricted, flat, or blunted affect may be a symptom of mental illness, especially schizophrenia.
  3. Obsolete. affection; passion; sensation; inclination; inward disposition or feeling.
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Origin of affect1

1350–1400; Middle English < Latin affectus acted upon, subjected to; mental or emotional state (past participle and action noun of afficere), equivalent to af- af- + fec- (combining form of facere to make, do) + -tus action noun suffix or -tus past participle suffix
Related formsaf·fect·a·ble, adjectiveaf·fect·a·bil·i·ty, noun

Synonyms

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Usage note

Affect1 and effect, each both noun and verb, share the sense of “influence,” and because of their similarity in pronunciation are sometimes confused in writing. As a verb affect1 means “to act on” or “to move” ( His words affected the crowd so deeply that many wept ); affect2 means “to pretend” or “to assume” ( new students affecting a nonchalance they didn't feel ). The verb effect means “to bring about, accomplish”: Her administration effected radical changes. The noun effect means “result, consequence”: the serious effects of the oil spill. The noun affect1 pronounced with the stress on the first syllable, is a technical term in psychology and psychiatry. Affect2 is not used as a noun.

affect2

[uh-fekt]
verb (used with object)
  1. to give the appearance of; pretend or feign: to affect knowledge of the situation.
  2. to assume artificially, pretentiously, or for effect: to affect a Southern accent.
  3. to use, wear, or adopt by preference; choose; prefer: the peculiar costume he affected.
  4. to assume the character or attitude of: to affect the freethinker.
  5. (of things) to tend toward habitually or naturally: a substance that affects colloidal form.
  6. (of animals and plants) to occupy or inhabit; live in or on: Lions affect Africa. Moss affects the northern slopes.
  7. Archaic.
    1. to have affection for; fancy.
    2. to aim at; aspire to.
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verb (used without object)
  1. Obsolete. to incline, tend, or favor (usually followed by to): He affects to the old ways.
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Origin of affect2

1400–50; late Middle English < Middle French affecter < Latin affectāre to strive after, feign (frequentative of afficere to do to), equivalent to af- af- + fec- (see affect1) + -tāre frequentative suffix
Related formsaf·fect·er, noun

Synonyms

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1. See pretend.

Usage note

See affect1.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words

disturb, upset, influence, involve, interest, touch, alter, change, regard, inspire, perturb, relate, prevail, move, impress, transform, induce, sway, modify, impinge

Examples from the Web for affect

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British Dictionary definitions for affect

affect1

verb (əˈfɛkt) (tr)
  1. to act upon or influence, esp in an adverse waydamp affected the sparking plugs
  2. to move or disturb emotionally or mentallyher death affected him greatly
  3. (of pain, disease, etc) to attack
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noun (ˈæfɛkt, əˈfɛkt)
  1. psychol the emotion associated with an idea or set of ideasSee also affection
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Word Origin

C17: from Latin affectus, past participle of afficere to act upon, from ad- to + facere to do

affect2

verb (mainly tr)
  1. to put on an appearance or show of; make a pretence ofto affect ignorance
  2. to imitate or assume, esp pretentiouslyto affect an accent
  3. to have or use by preferenceshe always affects funereal clothing
  4. to adopt the character, manner, etc, ofhe was always affecting the politician
  5. (of plants or animals) to live or grow inpenguins affect an arctic climate
  6. to incline naturally or habitually towardsfalling drops of liquid affect roundness
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Word Origin

C15: from Latin affectāre to strive after, pretend to have; related to afficere to affect 1
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 affect

n.

late 14c., "mental state," from Latin noun use of affectus "furnished, supplied, endowed," figuratively "disposed, constituted, inclined," past participle of afficere "to do; treat, use, manage, handle; act on; have influence on, do something to," a verb of broad meaning, from ad- "to" (see ad-) + facere (past participle factus) "do" (see factitious). Perhaps obsolete except in psychology. Related: Affects.

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v.2

"to make a pretense of," 1660s, earlier "to assume the character of (someone)" (1590s); originally in English "to aim at, aspire to, desire" (early 15c.), from Middle French affecter (15c.), from Latin affectare "to strive after, aim at," frequentative of afficere (past participle affectus) "to do something to, act on" (see affect (n.)). Related: Affected; affecting.

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v.1

"to make an impression on," 1630s; earlier "to attack" (c.1600), "act upon, infect" (early 15c.), from affect (n.). Related: Affected; affecting.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

affect in Medicine

affect

(ə-fĕkt)
v.
  1. To have an influence on or affect a change in.
  2. To attack or infect, as a disease.
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n.
  1. Feeling or emotion, especially as manifested by facial expression or body language.
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The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.