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  1. fond attachment, devotion, or love: the affection of a parent for an only child.
  2. Often affections.
    1. emotion; feeling; sentiment: over and above our reason and affections.
    2. the emotional realm of love: a place in his affections.
  3. Pathology. a disease, or the condition of being diseased; abnormal state of body or mind: a gouty affection.
  4. the act of affecting; act of influencing or acting upon.
  5. the state of being affected.
  6. Philosophy. a contingent, alterable, and accidental state or quality of being.
  7. the affective aspect of a mental process.
  8. bent or disposition of mind.
  9. Obsolete. bias; prejudice.

Origin of affection

1200–50; Middle English < Old French < Latin affectiōn- (stem of affectiō) disposition or state of mind or body; see affect1, -ion
Related formsaf·fec·tion·less, adjective

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Antonyms for affection


[uh-fek-shuh n]

Origin of affection

First recorded in 1525–35; affect2 + -ion Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for affection

Contemporary Examples of affection

Historical Examples of affection

British Dictionary definitions for affection


  1. a feeling of fondness or tenderness for a person or thing; attachment
  2. (often plural) emotion, feeling, or sentimentto play on a person's affections
  3. pathol any disease or pathological condition
  4. psychol any form of mental functioning that involves emotionSee also affect 1 (def. 2)
  5. the act of affecting or the state of being affected
  6. archaic inclination or disposition
Derived Formsaffectional, adjective

Word Origin for affection

C13: from Latin affectiōn- disposition, from 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 affection

early 13c., "an emotion of the mind, passion, lust as opposed to reason," from Old French afection (12c.) "emotion, inclination, disposition; love, attraction, enthusiasm," from Latin affectionem (nominative affectio) "a relation, disposition; a temporary state; a frame, constitution," noun of state from past participle stem of afficere "to do something to, act on" (see affect (n.)). Sense developed from "disposition" to "good disposition toward" (late 14c.). Related: Affections.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

affection in Medicine


  1. A tender feeling toward another; fondness.
  2. A bodily condition; disease.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.