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  1. showing, indicating, or characterized by affection or love; fondly tender: an affectionate embrace.
  2. having great affection or love; warmly attached; loving: your affectionate brother.
  3. Obsolete.
    1. strongly disposed or inclined.
    2. passionate; headstrong.
    3. biased; partisan.

Origin of affectionate

1485–95; affection1 + -ate1, on the model of passionate
Related formsaf·fec·tion·ate·ly, adverbaf·fec·tion·ate·ness, nounpseu·do·af·fec·tion·ate, adjectivepseu·do·af·fec·tion·ate·ly, adverbqua·si-af·fec·tion·ate, adjectivequa·si-af·fec·tion·ate·ly, adverbun·af·fec·tion·ate, adjectiveun·af·fec·tion·ate·ly, adverb

Synonyms for affectionate

See more synonyms for on Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

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Contemporary Examples of affectionate

Historical Examples of affectionate

British Dictionary definitions for affectionate


  1. having or displaying tender feelings, affection, or warmthan affectionate mother; an affectionate letter
Derived Formsaffectionately, adverb
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 affectionate

1580s, "fond, loving," from affection + -ate (1). Early, now mostly obsolete, senses included "inclined" (1530s), "prejudiced" (1530s), "passionate" (1540s), "earnest" (c.1600). Other forms also used in the main modern sense of the word included affectious (1580s), affectuous (mid-15c.).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper