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elective affinity Line breaks: elect|ive af¦fin|ity

Entry from British & World English dictionary

Definition of elective affinity in English:


A correspondence with, or feeling of sympathy or attraction towards, a particular idea, attitude, or person: there is an elective affinity between this cultural vision and the religious vision of the Church


Mid 18th century (as elective attraction): originally a technical term for the preferential combination of chemical substances, it was widely used figuratively in the 19th century, notably by Goethe (in his novel Die Wahlverwandschaften 'Elective Affinities') and by Weber (in describing the correspondence between aspects of Protestantism and capitalism).

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