[ af-ek-tey-shuhn ]
/ 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.

Nearby words

  1. affaire d'amour,
  2. affaire d'honneur,
  3. affaire de coeur,
  4. affairs,
  5. affect,
  6. affected,
  7. affectedly,
  8. affecting,
  9. affection,
  10. affectional

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 formsnon·af·fec·ta·tion, noun

Can be confusedaffectation affection Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for affectation

British Dictionary definitions for affectation


/ (ˌæfɛkˈteɪʃən) /


an assumed manner of speech, dress, or behaviour, esp one that is intended to impress others
(often foll by of) deliberate pretence or false displayaffectation of nobility

Word Origin for affectation

C16: from Latin affectātiōn- an aiming at, striving after, from affectāre; see affect ²

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 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