Definition of affinity in English:


Line breaks: af¦fin|ity
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
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    • 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
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    • 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
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    • 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'.

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