from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun Affection; passion; sensation; inclination; inward disposition or feeling.
  • noun State or condition of body; the way in which a thing is affected or disposed.
  • To act upon; produce an effect or a change upon; influence; move or touch: as, cold affects the body; loss affects our interests.
  • To urge; incite.
  • To render liable to a charge of; show to be chargeable with.
  • To assign; allot; apply: now only in the passive.
  • Synonyms To work upon; to concern, relate to, interest, bear upon; to melt, soften, subdue, change. Affect and effect are sometimes confused. To affect is to influence, concern; to effect is to accomplish or bring about.
  • To aim at; aspire to; endeavor after.
  • To use or adopt by preference; choose; prefer; tend toward habitually or naturally.
  • To be pleased with; take pleasure in; fancy; like; love.
  • To make a show of; put on a pretense of; assume the appearance of; pretend; feign: as, to affect ignorance.
  • To use as a model; imitate in any way.
  • To resemble; smack of.
  • To incline; be disposed.
  • To make a show; put on airs; manifest affectation.
  • noun In psychology: The felt or affective component of a motive to action; the incentive, as opposed to the inducement, to act. See the extract.
  • noun Emotion.
  • noun In Spinoza's philosophy, a modification at once of the psychic and the physical condition, the former element being called an idea and the latter an affection.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • noun obsolete Affection; inclination; passion; feeling; disposition.
  • noun (Psychotherapy) The emotional complex associated with an idea or mental state. In hysteria, the affect is sometimes entirely dissociated, sometimes transferred to another than the original idea.
  • transitive verb To act upon; to produce an effect or change upon.
  • transitive verb To influence or move, as the feelings or passions; to touch.
  • transitive verb obsolete To love; to regard with affection.
  • transitive verb To show a fondness for; to like to use or practice; to choose; hence, to frequent habitually.
  • transitive verb To dispose or incline.
  • transitive verb obsolete To aim at; to aspire; to covet.
  • transitive verb To tend to by affinity or disposition.
  • transitive verb To make a show of; to put on a pretense of; to feign; to assume.
  • transitive verb rare To assign; to appoint.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • verb transitive To influence or alter.
  • verb transitive To move to emotion.
  • verb transitive Of an illness or condition, to infect or harm (a part of the body).
  • verb transitive To aim for, to try to obtain.
  • verb transitive To feel affection for; to like, be fond of.
  • verb transitive To make a false display of.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • verb connect closely and often incriminatingly
  • verb have an effect upon
  • verb have an emotional or cognitive impact upon
  • noun the conscious subjective aspect of feeling or emotion
  • verb make believe with the intent to deceive
  • verb act physically on; have an effect upon


from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Middle French affecter, French affecter, and its source, the participle stem of Latin afficere ("to act upon, influence, affect, attack with disease"), from ad- + facere ("to make, do").

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

Middle English affect, from Latin affectus, adfectus ("a state of mind or body produced by some (external) influence, especially sympathy or love"), from afficere ("to act upon, influence")

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Anglo-Norman affecter ("strive after"), Middle French affecter ("feign"), and their source, Latin affectāre ("to strive after, aim to do, pursue, imitate with dissimulation, feign"), frequentative of afficere ("to act upon, influence") (see Etymology 1, above).


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  • The Placebo Affect*

    February 15, 2008

  • Gee, this reminds me of a certain Amazon review I wrote recently:

    Godin review

    What was creepy was that I received an e-mail from Seth Godin, expressing regret that I disliked the book so much, with the explanation that it wasn't intended to give advice, but just stimulate discussion. He offered to refund the purchase price. I declined.

    February 16, 2008

  • AffeCT

    April 24, 2008

  • When “affect” is accented on the final syllable (a-FECT), it is usually a verb meaning “have an influence on” . . . . Occasionally . . . “affect” means “to make a display of or deliberately cultivate.” . . . When the word is accented on the first syllable (AFF-ect), it means “emotion.” . . .

    The real problem arises when people confuse the first spelling with the second: “effect.” This too can be two different words. The more common one is a noun. . . . When you affect a situation, you have an effect on it.

    Less common is a verb meaning “to create”: “I’m trying to effect a change in the way we purchase widgets.” . . . Note especially that the proper expression is not “take affect” but “take effect”—become effective. . . .

    The stuff in your purse? Your personal effects.

    The stuff in movies? Sound effects and special effects.

    Affective” is a technical term having to do with emotions; the vast majority of the time the spelling you want is “effective.”

    Paul Brians. “Affect/Effect”. Common Errors in English Usage

    June 28, 2011

  • I affect an effect. The socialist affected the population with lies about how they want to help the downtrodden and the effect was that they rode into power on the backs of those downtrodden.

    August 17, 2011

  • 'affected the population with lies' is rather obtuse.

    August 17, 2011

  • Affect v. "To have an influence on or effect a change in"

    Wait a minute... the definition of affect is essentially "to effect"? Why can't the two (affect/effect) be used interchangeably as a verb, then? I'm confused!

    January 24, 2012