Definition of affair in English:



  • 1An event or sequence of events of a specified kind or that has previously been referred to.

    ‘the board admitted responsibility for the affair’
    ‘I wanted the funeral to be a family affair’
    • ‘Make planning the menu, shopping for groceries and cooking the meal a family affair.’
    • ‘Make breakfast a family affair most mornings if possible - or as close to it as you can.’
    • ‘He said the enthusiasm surrounding the event warranted making the event an annual affair.’
    • ‘A revolution in military affairs suggests a fundamental change in all aspects of warfare.’
    • ‘But after the McLeish affair, no matter is too trivial to be taken seriously.’
    • ‘The clash between the two parties over economic affairs led to the eventual breakdown of the coalition.’
    • ‘For the actor-activist then, the festival this year is something of a family affair.’
    • ‘The fact the dispute was a family affair partly explains the eventual union victory.’
    • ‘Today, this group's militant and social affairs function is to bring an Islamic government to Egypt.’
    • ‘Martin also took a keen and active interest in political affairs and events happening around the country.’
    • ‘It is celebrated by Chinese all over the world as a family affair, a time of reunion and thanksgiving.’
    • ‘Hitler's growing involvement in the details of economic life matched an increasing intervention in military affairs.’
    • ‘The true revolution in military affairs is the social revolution of the modern information age.’
    • ‘They were just looking to unseat the Republicans like the whole affair was a sporting event.’
    • ‘But in my experience, political and economic affairs tend to be a lot more complex than that.’
    • ‘In truth, the revolution in military affairs debate remains unsatisfying.’
    • ‘Why would one go to them for reporting of world affairs and events when much better reporting is available via the internet?’
    • ‘The competition tends to be very much a family affair, with a barbecue and refreshments throughout the day.’
    • ‘The revolution in military affairs refers to this new form of information-based warfare.’
    • ‘We must grow it ourselves, through civil society and participation in social and political affairs - not through military force.’
    event, incident, happening, occurrence, phenomenon, eventuality, episode, interlude, circumstance, set of circumstances, adventure, experience, case, matter, business, thing
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    1. 1.1A matter that is a particular person's concern or responsibility.
      ‘what you do in your spare time is your affair’
      • ‘Such groups must register and identify a person or people responsible for managing their affairs.’
      • ‘Let's stay out of affairs that don't concern us.’
      • ‘We all need to realise that religion should be a private affair and a matter of belief.’
      • ‘She is more likely to be concerned with the affairs of her constituents rather than the egos of her peers.’
      • ‘He was never so concerned with the affairs of my life.’
      • ‘Does it ever feel strange to Jane that Slotnick's so involved in her intimate affairs?’
      • ‘A hallmark of the eighteenth-century is the poet's concern with the affairs of the Gaelic nobility.’
      • ‘She went from running errands to running his life, convincing him that she should manage his affairs and business matters.’
      • ‘And therefore, we have to be concerned with the affairs of Eurasia.’
      • ‘As Empress, my affairs are concerned with the domestic well-being of our people.’
      • ‘He led the two to the sidelines, knowing they need not air their private affairs in the middle of the ballroom.’
      • ‘As in all matters concerning the affairs of Muslims our guide is the Qur'ân.’
      business, concern, matter, responsibility, province, preserve, interest
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    2. 1.2Matters of public interest and importance.
      ‘commissions were created to advise on foreign affairs’
      • ‘According to the public affairs officer, the embassy is waiting for a bill from the municipality.’
      • ‘Huang's interests also extend to public affairs.’
      • ‘The ties go way back and undergird the entire neocon movement and its traditional concern with Israeli affairs.’
      • ‘Besides farming and fun, the clan's big interest was politics - they all felt an interest in public affairs was a duty.’
      • ‘In Texas, the land commissioner is actually responsible for veterans affairs.’
      • ‘That reporter had misheard the British Embassy public affairs officer - the telephone lines are so poor.’
      • ‘Harrison is renowned for his independent voice and impassioned commentary on public affairs.’
      • ‘Interest in Irish affairs continued throughout the 1880s, although the issue switched from land reform.’
      • ‘The nationwide campaign is advising women to visit their local home affairs office.’
      • ‘The assistant vice chancellor for public affairs said the dispute was not a free speech issue.’
      • ‘Working back from the 1997 defeat, he held Cabinet posts in foreign affairs, defence, transport and Scotland.’
      • ‘His interest in public affairs, especially in social questions, was keener.’
      • ‘Moreover, she can't use her identity document as home affairs told her the number was being investigated.’
      • ‘He said the ministries of transport and home affairs will be meeting to work out the details.’
      • ‘He enjoyed a passion for collecting art and an interest in public affairs.’
      • ‘They were not allowed to participate directly in political affairs or take on church roles.’
      • ‘Cultural services, foreign affairs, and transportation receive only one to three per cent of the total budget.’
      • ‘All interviews had to be monitored by military public affairs escorts.’
      • ‘Our interest in international affairs continues unabated.’
      • ‘Instead of allowing himself to dwell on his condition, he's devoted himself to public service and veteran affairs.’
    3. 1.3Business and financial dealings.
      ‘his time was spent in winding up his affairs’
      • ‘He was suspended in October 2002 pending the financial management of the financial affairs of the company.’
      • ‘I wouldn't disclose that, that's part of our financial affairs.’
      • ‘We have no business to be involved in our patients' financial affairs and it is not appropriate to become involved.’
      • ‘He ordered a more detailed investigation of the Italian's financial affairs.’
      • ‘A revenue audit is an investigation into the financial affairs of a business and its owners.’
      • ‘These are just a few of the changes that could affect the way you handle your financial and business affairs.’
      • ‘I never talk about clients' financial affairs.’
      • ‘And they're taking care of their financial affairs here in the states.’
      • ‘Is he the victim of a smear campaign that has targeted his his financial affairs?’
      • ‘The application of mathematics to trade and financial affairs is as old as mathematics itself.’
      • ‘But on what basis does a government excuse its meddling into the private financial affairs of its citizens?’
      • ‘The tangled financial affairs of the company are still being unravelled.’
      • ‘You can be aggressive when you need to resolve business and financial affairs.’
      • ‘Once his tax affairs came into the public domain, he resigned from the party.’
      • ‘Instead, the Supreme Council of the Judiciary should take charge of all judges' budgetary and financial affairs.’
      • ‘It had been closed some months back after the organization intervened in the business's financial affairs.’
      • ‘Countries such as Switzerland offer clients confidentiality which allows them to keep their business affairs private.’
      • ‘She had to produce a statement of affairs, which detailed she had debts of £321,325.’
      • ‘You are blessed with a youthful outlook and dynamism to manage business or financial affairs successfully today.’
      • ‘He complained that he could not sort out his private and financial affairs because he had to spend too much time in the middle.’
      transactions, concerns, matters, activities, dealings, undertakings, ventures, proceedings
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  • 2A love affair.

    ‘his wife is having an affair’
    • ‘Swingers often point to the high rates of clandestine extra-marital affairs when discussing this issue.’
    • ‘Many women failed to view infidelity as a sign of disrespect as long as the affairs remained ‘hidden.’’
    • ‘Besides domestic violence, she said cases involved extramarital affairs.’
    • ‘At least one patient developed an obsession with pornography and engaged in extramarital affairs.’
    • ‘Let these affairs of the heart and mind remain as dangerous/delightful footnotes to a brilliant life-in-progress.’
    • ‘Middle ages men who take up running subsequently have affairs.’
    • ‘With regard to online relationships and affairs, the Internet presents a potential new dynamic in couple relationships.’
    • ‘As well, different extramarital affairs demand different strategies on the part of the spouse or others.’
    • ‘Your spouse will view the affair or affairs as entitlement.’
    • ‘She was having an affair with a girl but then tried to have a relationship with a guy.’
    • ‘Other than a few torrid one night affairs, I was never serious with anyone else.’
    • ‘I think that the initial giddy passion that begins many affairs is a relatively superficial and insignificant thing.’
    • ‘This is why extramarital affairs are so damaging.’
    • ‘The marriage has to be consummated before an extramarital affair becomes adultery.’
    • ‘Consequently, extramarital affairs constitute a significant problem for many couples.’
    • ‘Some researchers have made attempts to explain how and why online relationships and affairs occur.’
    • ‘He admitted to five different affairs and countless visits to massage parlors for ‘full-body’ massages.’
    • ‘Married women are expected to remain completely monogamous while accepting their husbands' extramarital sexual affairs.’
    • ‘This is a weird one because it is not a traditional relationship, it is an affair.’
    • ‘After all, affairs have to be with someone you know.’
    relationship, love affair, romance, fling, flirtation, dalliance, liaison, entanglement, romantic entanglement, involvement, attachment, affair of the heart, intrigue
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  • 3informal [with adjective] An object of a particular type.

    ‘her dress was a black low-cut affair’
    • ‘The first half was a rather dull affair lit up with three goals but with little else to recommend it.’
    • ‘This one is a white-stucco, Spanish mission-style affair in a residential quarter of Nashville.’
    • ‘It will be a tense and tight affair with a single goal probably enough to seal a place in the semi final.’
    • ‘All in all, a trip to Italy at anytime in your life will never be a no strings attached affair.’
    • ‘Convention itself took less than ninety minutes to complete, and it really was a low key affair throughout.’
    • ‘This parade was reported to be a lively and energetic affair, containing a record number of floats.’
    • ‘His early albums were scratchy affairs, recorded using just a boombox with a cheap built-in microphone.’
    • ‘His London gigs are particularly riotous affairs, I remark, and am rewarded with a proper beaming smile.’
    • ‘Whereas amateur websites used to be flat, static affairs, hobbyist designers can now make a site sing.’
    • ‘An Antarctic terrestrial ecosystem is not a particularly spectacular affair.’
    • ‘The final promised to be a quality affair and as matters unfolded it proved to be one of pace versus pace.’
    • ‘It was a panoramic, large windowed affair, on the seventh floor of the hotel, and we had a window seat.’
    • ‘What a feeble excuse for a song that is, a classic non-quorate affair covering three notes throughout.’
    • ‘The shirt was a sleeveless affair, worn open, with pockets all over the front.’
    • ‘The back light, a scratched grey plastic affair which had come with the bike, was less satisfying.’
    • ‘The awning, a huge tunnel tent affair, has remained in its storage space under the seat.’
    • ‘In the meantime, the game settled into a contrary, niggly affair.’
    • ‘The restaurant is the best; an old-fashioned wood-and-leather affair with a horseshoe bar.’
    • ‘Thus an issue of great concern for national security has been made into a partisan affair.’
    • ‘Compare her wig in photographs to the somewhat inferior affair atop her head this evening.’


Middle English: from Old French afaire, from à faire to do; compare with ado.