Definition of affair in English:


Syllabification: af·fair
Pronunciation: /əˈfer


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
More example sentences
  • The revolution in military affairs refers to this new form of information-based warfare.
  • Martin also took a keen and active interest in political affairs and events happening around the country.
  • Hitler's growing involvement in the details of economic life matched an increasing intervention in military affairs.
1.1A matter that is a particular person’s concern or responsibility: what you do in your spare time is your affair
More example sentences
  • As in all matters concerning the affairs of Muslims our guide is the Qur'ân.
  • She went from running errands to running his life, convincing him that she should manage his affairs and business matters.
  • We all need to realise that religion should be a private affair and a matter of belief.
business, concern, matter, responsibility, province, preserve;
problem, worry
1.2 (affairs) Matters of public interest and importance: commissions were created to advise on foreign affairs
More example sentences
  • He enjoyed a passion for collecting art and an interest in public affairs.
  • Besides farming and fun, the clan's big interest was politics - they all felt an interest in public affairs was a duty.
  • His interest in public affairs, especially in social questions, was keener.
1.3 (affairs) Business and financial dealings: his time was spent in winding up his affairs
More example sentences
  • You can be aggressive when you need to resolve business and financial affairs.
  • You are blessed with a youthful outlook and dynamism to manage business or financial affairs successfully today.
  • It had been closed some months back after the organization intervened in the business's financial affairs.
transactions, concerns, matters, activities, dealings, undertakings, ventures, business
1.4 [with adjective] informal An object of a particular type: her dress was a black low-cut affair
More example sentences
  • The restaurant is the best; an old-fashioned wood-and-leather affair with a horseshoe bar.
  • The back light, a scratched grey plastic affair which had come with the bike, was less satisfying.
  • His early albums were scratchy affairs, recorded using just a boombox with a cheap built-in microphone.
2A love affair: his wife is having an affair
More example sentences
  • This is why extramarital affairs are so damaging.
  • Swingers often point to the high rates of clandestine extra-marital affairs when discussing this issue.
  • As well, different extramarital affairs demand different strategies on the part of the spouse or others.
relationship, love affair, affaire de coeur, romance, fling, flirtation, dalliance, liaison, involvement, intrigue, amour
informal hanky-panky, dirty weekend


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

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cause (someone) to lose confidence or hope; dispirit