Main definitions of affect in English

: affect1affect2affect3

affect1

verb

[with object]
  • 1Have an effect on; make a difference to.

    ‘the dampness began to affect my health’
    with clause ‘your attitude will affect how successful you are’
    • ‘A variety of factors can affect how much you pay for insurance, such as where you live, the age and health of your animal and the level of cover you require.’
    • ‘Differences in environment or health status may affect how people respond to subjective assessments.’
    • ‘The city has been affected by after effects of the quake, with over 200 casualties reported by police and hospital sources.’
    • ‘Battlefield effects on soldiers affected everyone - veterans and young soldiers alike.’
    • ‘I needed a place to fully explore cultural differences that affected me as a therapist.’
    • ‘The effects of the hunger affected each of their kind differently.’
    • ‘This is beginning to affect how the law determines which of these relationships should be given legal recognition.’
    • ‘The demand has also been affected because of the effects of the energy crisis in the year 1973.’
    • ‘Apart from the physical effects, he admits his mental health has also been affected.’
    • ‘Personal mission statements can drive us and affect how we conduct daily journalism.’
    • ‘Research from the United States suggests that the neighbourhood you live in can affect how well your children perform at school.’
    • ‘Eventually, our ordinary people will be affected with adverse effects on our still fragile economy.’
    • ‘It is possible that the difference in setting could affect the way personal topics impact on participation rates.’
    • ‘In this way, the tank fulfills both the physical and the psychological effects needed to affect the enemy's will to fight.’
    • ‘Since then, science, health, medicine and technology - and how they affect how we all live - have become central themes on the programme.’
    • ‘Towns said the new rule would not affect how his team conducted its attacking or defensive penalty-corners.’
    • ‘It is not just the physical effect of rain that affects us all, it is the gloom that goes with it.’
    • ‘These flow-rate differences affect the glaciers' surface topography.’
    • ‘The murder rates of the U.S. and U.K. are also affected by differences in the way each counts homicides.’
    • ‘Sheila said the pub would continue fundraising but this year's effort had been affected by the effect of the scam.’
    affect, influence, exert influence on, act on, work on, condition, touch, have an impact on, impact on, take hold of, attack, infect, strike, strike at, hit
    influence, exert influence on, have an effect on, act on, work on, condition, touch, have an impact on, impact on, take hold of, attack, infect, strike, strike at, hit
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1 Touch the feelings of; move emotionally.
      ‘he was visibly affected by the tragedy’
      • ‘When I saw the documentary "Fahrenheit 9/11," I was really affected by it.’
      • ‘Despite admitting to affairs in his rock-star years, he remains terribly affected by her death.’
      • ‘I was really affected and touched by the sound of her voice, which differed from any conventional idea of a beautiful voice.’
      • ‘I do not remember the last time I was so viscerally affected by a literary account of another person's experience.’
      • ‘Alison, who is visibly affected by the reappearance of her old lover, at first tries to avoid him.’
      • ‘Salinger's book has powerfully affected, and still affects, so many generations of readers.’
      • ‘But these are the stories that affected me, that moved me, that stayed with me.’
      touching, moving, emotive, powerful, stirring, impressive, telling, soul-stirring, uplifting, heart-warming
      upset, trouble, hit hard, overwhelm, devastate, damage, hurt, pain, grieve, sadden, distress, disturb, perturb, agitate, shake, shake up, stir
      View synonyms

Usage

Affect and effect are quite different in meaning, though frequently confused. Affect is primarily a verb meaning ‘make a difference to’, as in their gender need not affect their career. Effect, on the other hand, is used both as a noun and a verb, meaning ‘a result’ as a noun (move the cursor until you get the effect you want) or ‘bring about a result’ as a verb (growth in the economy can only be effected by stringent economic controls)

Origin

Late Middle English (in the sense ‘attack as a disease’): from French affecter or Latin affect- ‘influenced, affected’, from the verb afficere (see affect).

Pronunciation

affect

/əˈfɛkt/

Main definitions of affect in English

: affect1affect2affect3

affect2

verb

[with object]
  • 1Pretend to have or feel (something)

    ‘as usual I affected a supreme unconcern’
    with infinitive ‘a book that affects to loathe the modern world’
    • ‘One can affect unawareness, feign indifference or summon up some other defense against such entreaties.’
    • ‘The boy then sat on top of the pillow, affecting an air of supreme indifference.’
    • ‘Although the author affects befuddlement, his book demonstrates an unfaltering sense of self.’
    • ‘These affect an air of tired superiority in a world of unoriginal humorists.’
    • ‘But he has always affected a public air of unconcern whenever the subject comes up.’
    pretend, feign, fake, counterfeit, sham, simulate, fabricate, give the appearance of, make a show of, make a pretence of, play at, go through the motions of
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1 Use, wear, or assume (something) pretentiously or so as to make an impression on others.
      ‘an Anglophile who had affected a British accent’
      • ‘Her haughty tone affected the third voice, giving him the impression that she was annoyed.’
      • ‘He has enough shirt buttons undone to wear a medallion, but instead affects a necklace.’
      • ‘He wasn't accepted, even when he affected an accent.’
      • ‘Sometimes you become very aware that you're watching an actor affecting crazy mannerisms in a crazy movie.’
      • ‘Rosalinda, who was also invited to the party, arrives there, affecting the airs of a Hungarian countess.’
      assume, put on, take on, adopt, like, have a liking for, embrace, espouse
      View synonyms

Origin

Late Middle English: from French affecter or Latin affectare ‘aim at’, frequentative of afficere ‘work on, influence’, from ad- ‘at, to’ + facere ‘do’. The original sense was ‘like, love’, hence ‘(like to) use, assume, etc.’.

Pronunciation

affect

/əˈfɛkt/

Main definitions of affect in English

: affect1affect2affect3

affect3

noun

mass nounPsychology
  • Emotion or desire as influencing behaviour.

    • ‘We have come a long way from Freud's affect theory to viewing emotions as joining and integrating minds.’
    • ‘There has also been a need to begin to integrate a focus on affect in behavioral couples therapy.’
    • ‘This, says Jung, is because they confuse feeling with emotion or affect.’
    • ‘A third component of reactive aggression is affect, and specifically anger.’
    • ‘By triggering affect and emotion, intolerant behaviors are set in motion.’

Origin

Late 19th century: coined in German from Latin affectus ‘disposition’, from afficere ‘to influence’ (see affect).

Pronunciation

affect

/ˈafɛkt/