One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
Concerning or having a family relationship by marriage.
- ‘Does it belong to the birth family or the affinal family?’
- ‘Nucleated villages consisted of two localised clan branches, one from each moiety, which maintained complex and enduring affinal, political, economic, and ritual relations of reciprocity of various sorts.’
- ‘Buffaloes, preferably full-grown bulls, are involved in funerals in two ways: some are contributed by consanguineal relatives and others are lent by affinal kin or even friends.’
- ‘Consanguineal relatives are considered more important than are affinal relatives.’
- ‘Most cases illustrated here concern fine-tuning of the affinal category in such a way that it is possible to establish the necessary distinctions among classificatory in-laws, potential in-laws and actual in-laws.’
Mid 19th century: from Latin affinis ‘related’ (see affinity) + -al.
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