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affection ˈfɛkʃən/ noun
plural affections
plural affections
Learner's definition of AFFECTION
: a feeling of liking and caring for someone or something喜爱;关爱;疼爱
affections [plural] : feelings of love : a person's romantic feelings爱恋;爱慕之情



af·​fec·​tion ə-ˈfek-shən How to pronounce affection (audio)
: a feeling of liking and caring for someone or something : tender attachment : fondness
She had a deep affection for her parents.
: a moderate feeling or emotion
: a bodily condition
: disease, malady
a pulmonary affection
: attribute
shape and weight are affections of bodies
obsolete : partiality, prejudice
: the feeling aspect (as in pleasure) of consciousness
: the action of affecting : the state of being affected
: umlaut sense 2
used especially in the grammar of the Celtic languages
affectionless adjective

Did you know?

Affectation and Affection

Affectation looks a lot like a much more common word, affection. But the two are used very differently.

The more familiar word, affection, in modern use means "a feeling of liking and caring for someone or something," as in "They show their dog a lot of affection."

Affectation, on the other hand, refers to a form of behavior that's unnatural to the person engaging in it, and that is meant to impress other people. A phony accent someone uses to sound more sophisticated, for example, can be considered an affectation, as can pretending to know all about some obscure band in order to seem cool.

The words don't have much in common in their use, but their similarity in appearance is not coincidence. Both have to do with one of the trickiest words in the language: affect.

Affect is one of the most frequently looked-up words in the dictionary, primarily because of its regular confusion with effect. The short rationale that you often hear when it comes to distinguishing the two is that effect is usually a noun and affect is a verb. The breakdown isn't all that simple, however, and what makes things even more confusing is that there are two verb entries for affect.

One affect entry is for the sense meaning "to produce an effect upon (someone)" or "to act upon (a person, a person's mind or feelings, etc.) so as to effect a response." This is the sense that connects to affection, as in "We were affected by the young woman's heartfelt speech." Being affected by something in this way doesn't necessarily result in affection, but it can.

The other verb affect is defined as "to make a display of liking or using : cultivate" or "to put a pretense on : feign." It is used when talking about things like styles or mannerisms, as in "He affected a British accent and tweedy look after reading nothing but Sherlock Holmes stories for months on end."

The two verbs affect took different etymological paths from the same origin. The "put on a pretense" sense of affect derives via Middle English and Anglo-French from the Latin affectāre, meaning "to try to accomplish, strive after, pretend to have." Affectāre is a derivative of afficere, which means "to produce an effect on, exert an influence on"; the affect related to affection is from a variant of afficere.

Choose the Right Synonym for affection

feeling, emotion, affection, sentiment, passion mean a subjective response to a person, thing, or situation.

feeling denotes any partly mental, partly physical response marked by pleasure, pain, attraction, or repulsion; it may suggest the mere existence of a response but imply nothing about the nature or intensity of it.

the feelings that once moved me are gone

emotion carries a strong implication of excitement or agitation but, like feeling, encompasses both positive and negative responses.

the drama portrays the emotions of adolescence

affection applies to feelings that are also inclinations or likings.

a memoir of childhood filled with affection for her family

sentiment often implies an emotion inspired by an idea.

her feminist sentiments are well known

passion suggests a very powerful or controlling emotion.

revenge became his ruling passion

Example Sentences

She has deep affection for her parents. He shows great affection for his grandchildren. feelings of love and affection He now looks back on those years with great affection. She developed a deep affection for that country and its people.
Recent Examples on the Web Though Canadians are somewhat indifferent to the monarchy, many had great affection for Elizabeth, whose silhouette marks their coins. Rob Gillies, ajc, 10 Sep. 2022 Some series have longevity because the author imbues novel after novel with an enthusiasm for storytelling, an affection for the characters and a way of inviting the reader to return to the world created in these plots. Oline H. Cogdill, Sun Sentinel, 1 Sep. 2022 Clinton has more affection for West's ex-wife Kim Kardashian, who was a guest on Gutsy, which showcases bold, brave women making positive change in the world. Clarissa Cruz, EW.com, 23 Aug. 2022 Lionel Richie was born and raised in Tuskegee, and the veteran star has an enduring affection for his hometown. Mary Colurso | Mcolurso@al.com, al, 18 Aug. 2022 But the show has a pure affection for them, while the villains are medical charlatans and political opportunists. Daniel Fienberg, The Hollywood Reporter, 17 Aug. 2022 When the collegians kicked three field goals to beat the Cleveland Browns in that year’s All-Star Football Game, the Tribune noted that Ward had a special affection not for the most gifted but those who give it their all. Ron Grossman, Chicago Tribune, 19 June 2022 Paltrow said her father Bruce had a great affection for Pitt, who saw Bruce as a fatherly mentor. Edward Segarra, USA TODAY, 14 June 2022 Giannis, the owner, hates chess, but has a fatherly affection for his regulars. Lise Pedersen, Variety, 25 May 2022 See More

Word History


Middle English affeccioun "capacity for feeling, emotion, desire, love," borrowed from Anglo-French, "desire, love, inclination, partiality," borrowed from Latin affectiōn-, affectiō "frame of mind, feeling, feeling of attachment," from affec- (variant stem of afficere "to produce an effect on, exert an influence on") + -tiōn-, -tiō, suffix of action nouns — more at affect entry 1

First Known Use

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 2

Time Traveler
The first known use of affection was in the 14th century


ADJECTIVE | VERB + AFFECTION | PREPOSITION | PHRASES ADJECTIVEdeep, genuine, great, real, special, strong, warm深厚的/真摯的/偉大的/真正的/特殊的/強烈的/友好的感情mutual相互的愛brotherly, marital手足之情;夫妻之情physical (especially NAmE) 用肢體表達的愛意VERB + AFFECTIONfeel, have, hold sb in, retain (formal) 感受愛;擁有愛;熱愛某人;留住愛He has a great affection for animals.他非常喜愛動物。He was held in great affection by hundreds of students.他深受成百上千學生的愛戴。display, express, give sb, show (sb)流露愛;表達愛;給某人愛;(向某人)表示愛get, receive得到愛return回報愛crave, need, want渴求愛;需要愛;想得到愛He just wants a bit of affection.他只是想要一點點愛。gain, win獲得愛;贏得愛She had tried hard to win his affection.她曾竭力討他的歡心。develop發展感情She had developed a real affection for him.她逐漸對他產生了真愛。PREPOSITIONwith affection充滿愛意地He'll be remembered with genuine affection.人們將真切地懷念他。affection for對⋯的愛I have a deep affection for his mother.我深愛他母親。affection to, affection towards/toward對⋯的愛The teacher showed affection to all her students.這位老師對她所有的學生都充滿了愛。PHRASESa display of affection情感的流露I don't go in for public displays of affection.我不喜歡在眾人面前表露自己的情感。a feeling of affection愛意a strong feeling of affection強烈的愛意love and affection疼愛和關懷I yearn for the love and affection I once had.我渴望曾經擁有的疼愛和關懷。the object of sb's affections某人鍾愛的對象The object of his affections was a young opera singer.他的意中人是個年輕的歌劇演唱者。a show of affection, a sign of affection愛的表現;愛的跡象
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0_0: Translations of affection
  • # n.
    愛: affection, attachment, love, passion
    波及: affection, circulation, involvement, spreading
    慈愛: affection, kindness, love
    感情: affection, emotion, feeling, sensation, sentiment, susceptibility
    情: affection, condition, emotion, favor, favour, feeling
    情意: affection, goodwill, tender regards

0_0: Definitions of affection
  • # noun.
    - a gentle feeling of fondness or liking.
    * she felt affection for the wise old lady
    - the act or process of affecting or being affected.
    * None

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