Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. Something done or to be done; business.
  • n. Transactions and other matters of professional or public business: affairs of state.
  • n. An occurrence, event, or matter: The senator's death was a tragic affair.
  • n. A social function.
  • n. An object or a contrivance: Their first car was a ramshackle affair.
  • n. A matter of personal concern.
  • n. Personal business: get one's affairs in order.
  • n. A matter causing public scandal and controversy: the Dreyfus affair.
  • n. A romantic and sexual relationship, sometimes one of brief duration, between two people who are not married to each other.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. That which is done or is to be done; matter; concern; business of any kind, commercial, professional, or public; — often in the plural.
  • n. Any proceeding or action which it is wished to refer to or characterize vaguely.
  • n. An action or engagement not of sufficient magnitude to be called a battle.
  • n. A material object (vaguely designated).
  • n. An adulterous relationship. (from affaire de cœur.)

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. That which is done or is to be done; matter; concern
  • n. Any proceeding or action which it is wished to refer to or characterize vaguely.
  • n. An action or engagement not of sufficient magnitude to be called a battle.
  • n. Action; endeavor.
  • n. A material object (vaguely designated).

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. Anything done or to be done; that which requires action or effort; a moving interest; business; concern: as, this is an affair of great moment; a man of affairs; affairs of state.
  • n. plural Matters of interest or concern; particular doings or interests; specifically, pecuniary interests or relations: as, to meddle with a neighbor's affairs; his affairs are in an embarrassed state.
  • n. An event or a performance; a particular action, operation, or proceeding; military, a partial or minor engagement or contest; a skirmish: as, when did this affair happen: an affair of honor, or of outposts.
  • n. A private or personal concern; a special function, business, or duty.
  • n. Thing; matter; concern: applied to anything made or existing, with a descriptive or qualifying term: as, this machine is a complicated affair; his anger is an affair of no consequence.
  • n. Endeavor; attempt.

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

  • n. a usually secretive or illicit sexual relationship
  • n. a vaguely specified concern
  • n. a vaguely specified social event

Etymologies

Middle English affaire, from Old French afaire, from a faire, to do : a, to (from Latin ad; see ad-) + faire, to do (from facere; see dhē- in Indo-European roots).
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Middle English afere, affere, from Old French afaire, from a- + faire ("to do"); Latin ad- + facere to do. See fact, and confer ado. (Wiktionary)

Examples

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