Definition of affinity in English:

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Pronunciation: /əˈfɪnɪti/

noun (plural affinities)

1A natural liking for and understanding of someone or something: he had a special affinity with horses
More example sentences
  • They have a natural affinity with traditional country music which is the kind I do in my show.
  • He was most at home when working on the land and had a natural affinity with country people.
  • This dolphin later turned up in Grace Bay in 1980 and demonstrated a natural affinity with people.
empathy, rapport, sympathy, accord, harmony, like-mindedness;
closeness to, fellow feeling for, understanding of;
liking for, fondness for, inclination towards, partiality for, penchant for, predilection towards, attraction towards
informal chemistry
relationship, bond, connection, propinquity
1.1A similarity of characteristics suggesting a relationship, especially a resemblance in structure between animals, plants, or languages: a semantic affinity between two words
More example sentences
  • Some authors have suggested a close relationship between cycads and Lyginopteris, but most favor an affinity to Medullosan seed plants.
  • It seems that the dualistic language has an innate affinity to directive speech acts (in a second-person perspective).
  • The researcher suggested a close affinity to Tetraodontiformes, although this idea has not been generally accepted.
similarity, resemblance, likeness, kinship;
correspondence, relationship, association, link, analogy, similitude, agreement, compatibility, congruity, parallelism, consonance;
identity, identicalness, uniformity, equivalence
1.2 [mass noun] Relationship, especially by marriage as opposed to blood ties: the distinction between kinship and affinity is not always clear-cut
More example sentences
  • Across the continent there were marked continuities in physical characteristics and cultural features, and many linkages based on relations of kinship, affinity, exchange, and religion.
  • Related to this notion of communal affinity is ‘social closure’.
  • Peoples with no particular affinity toward each other are bound together in a state that was largely externally created and not the outcome of local political processes.
2chiefly Biochemistry The degree to which a substance tends to combine with another: the bacterial proteins bind to these molecules with high affinity
More example sentences
  • Several of these results were based on measurements of binding affinities between specific residues in S4 and in the pore domain.
  • In the context of the affinity of hemoglobin for oxygen there are four primary regulators, each of which has a negative impact.
  • Besides the long-range interactions it makes with neighboring protease residues, the binding affinity of a peptide also depends on its own conformation.


Middle English (in the sense 'relationship by marriage'): via Old French from Latin affinitas, from affinis 'related' (literally 'bordering on'), from ad- 'to' + finis 'border'.

  • paraffin from mid 19th century:

    This word first appeared in 1830 in German, coined by the chemist Karl Reichenbach from the Latin parum ‘little’ and affinis ‘related’ (also the source of affinity (Middle English)) because of its low chemical reactivity. It was in use in English within five years.

Words that rhyme with affinity

asininity, clandestinity, divinity, femininity, infinity, masculinity, salinity, trinity, vicinity, virginity

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: af¦fin|ity

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