Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun Something done or experienced; a matter or event.
  • noun A matter of personal concern.
  • noun A matter causing public scandal and controversy.
  • noun A social function.
  • noun Transactions and other matters of professional or public business.
  • noun Personal business.
  • noun An object or a contrivance.
  • noun A sexual relationship between two people, especially when at least one of them is married or in another committed romantic relationship.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun 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.
  • noun 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.
  • noun 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.
  • noun A private or personal concern; a special function, business, or duty.
  • noun 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.
  • noun Endeavor; attempt.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Etymologies

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

[Middle English affaire, from Old French afaire, from a faire, to do : a, to (from Latin ad; see ad–) + faire, to do (from Latin facere; see dhē- in Indo-European roots).]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Middle English afere, affere, from Old French afaire, from a- + faire ("to do"); Latin ad- + facere to do. See fact, and confer ado.

Examples

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