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

  • n. A natural attraction, liking, or feeling of kinship.
  • n. Relationship by marriage.
  • n. An inherent similarity between persons or things. See Synonyms at likeness.
  • n. Biology A relationship or resemblance in structure between species that suggests a common origin.
  • n. Immunology The attraction between an antigen and an antibody.
  • n. Chemistry An attraction or force between particles that causes them to combine.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A natural attraction or feeling of kinship to a person or thing.
  • n. A family relationship through marriage of a relative (e.g. sister-in-law), as opposed to consanguinity. (e.g. sister).
  • n. A kinsman or kinswoman of such relationship. Affinal kinsman or kinswoman.
  • n. The fact of and manner in which something is related to another.
  • n. Any romantic relationship.
  • n. Any passionate love for something.
  • n. resemblances between biological populations; resemblances that suggest that they are of a common origin, type or stock.
  • n. structural resemblances between minerals; resemblances that suggest that they are of a common origin or type.
  • n. An attractive force between atoms, or groups of atoms, that contributes towards their forming bonds
  • n. The attraction between an antibody and an antigen
  • n. tendency to keep a task running on the same processor in a symmetric multiprocessing operating system to reduce the frequency of cache misses

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. Relationship by marriage (as between a husband and his wife's blood relations, or between a wife and her husband's blood relations); -- in contradistinction to consanguinity, or relationship by blood; -- followed by with, to, or between.
  • n. Kinship generally; close agreement; relation; conformity; resemblance; connection.
  • n. Companionship; acquaintance.
  • n. That attraction which takes place, at an insensible distance, between the heterogeneous particles of bodies, and unites them to form chemical compounds; chemism; chemical or elective affinity or attraction.
  • n. A relation between species or higher groups dependent on resemblance in the whole plan of structure, and indicating community of origin.
  • n. A superior spiritual relationship or attraction held to exist sometimes between persons, esp. persons of the opposite sex; also, the man or woman who exerts such psychical or spiritual attraction.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. An artificial relationship between persons of different blood, regarded as analogous to consanguinity; the relation between families or individuals created by intermarriage (excluding that between the married persons), by legal adoption, or by sponsorship; more especially, the relation between a husband or wife and the kindred of the other spouse.
  • n. Intercourse; acquaintance; companionship.
  • n. Hence A natural liking for, or attraction to, a person or thing; a natural drawing or inclination; an inherent mutual liking or attraction.
  • n. Inherent likeness or agreement as between things; essential or specific conformity; intimate resemblance or connection.
  • n. In chem., that force by which the atoms of bodies of dissimilar nature unite in certain definite proportions to form a compound different in its nature from any of its constituents: called distinctively chemical or elective affinity.
  • n. In biology, morphological and implied genetic relationship, resulting in a resemblance in general plan or structure, or in the essential structural parts, existing between two organisms or groups of organisms; true and near structural relationship, predicable of two or more organisms morphologically related, however diverse physiologically.
  • n. In psychology, that in ideas which renders them capable of being associated in the mind, as their similarity or coadjacency.
  • n. In geometry, the relationship between two figures in the same plane which correspond to each other, point to point and straight line to straight line, any point of the one lying in a fixed direction from the corresponding point of the other, and at a distance from it proportional to its distance from a fixed line, called the axis of affinity, the direction of which is that of lines joining corresponding points.
  • n. In projective geometry, a perspective of which the center is at an infinite distance.

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

  • n. a close connection marked by community of interests or similarity in nature or character
  • n. (anthropology) kinship by marriage or adoption; not a blood relationship
  • n. (biology) state of relationship between organisms or groups of organisms resulting in resemblance in structure or structural parts
  • n. the force attracting atoms to each other and binding them together in a molecule
  • n. inherent resemblance between persons or things
  • n. (immunology) the attraction between an antigen and an antibody
  • n. a natural attraction or feeling of kinship


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

Middle English affinite, from Old French afinite, from Latin affīnitās, from affīnis, related by marriage; see affined.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Old French affinité.



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  • Cf. avidity.

    September 21, 2016

  • Sadly, the word now reminds me of the credit cards you can get with your college logo and perhaps a lovely photo of the school printed on the front.

    September 9, 2007

  • I put it in the same category as fancy. It's an overly aristocratic way to just say "I like it, Bob."

    September 7, 2007

  • I don't agree, skipp. Methinks it's a tad awkward-sounding to convey true fondness. Plus it sounds finicky!

    September 7, 2007

  • Do you have an affinity for it?

    September 5, 2007

  • Hard not to love this one.

    September 5, 2007