Definitions for affectəˈfɛkt; ˈæf ɛkt

This page provides all possible meanings and translations of the word affect

Random House Webster's College Dictionary

af•fect*əˈfɛkt; ˈæf ɛkt(v.; n.; v.t.)

  1. to produce an effect or change in:

    Cold weather affected the crops.

  2. to impress the mind or move the feelings of:

    The music affected him deeply.

  3. (of pain, disease, etc.) to attack or lay hold of.

    Category: Pathology

  4. (n.)feeling or emotion.

    Category: Psychiatry

  5. Psychiatry. an expressed or observed emotional response.

    Category: Psychiatry

  6. Obs. inward disposition or feeling.

* Usage: Because of similarity in pronunciation, affect and effect are sometimes confused in writing. The spelling affect is used of two different words. The verb affect1 means “to act on” or “to move” (His words affected the crowd so deeply that many wept); the noun affect1, pronounced with the stress on the first syllable, refers to emotion or, in psychiatry, emotional response. affect2 is not used as a noun; as a verb it means “to pretend” or “to assume” (new students affecting a nonchalance they didn't feel). The verb effect means “to bring about, accomplish”: Her administration effected radical changes. The noun effect means “result, consequence”: the serious effects of the oil spill.

Origin of affect:

1350–1400; ME, < L affectus



  1. to pretend or feign:

    to affect knowledge of history.

  2. to assume artificially, pretentiously, or for effect:

    to affect a British accent.

  3. to use, wear, or adopt by preference:

    to affect an outrageous costume.

  4. to assume the character or attitude of:

    to affect the freethinker.

  5. (of substances) to tend toward habitually or naturally:

    to affect colloidal form.

  6. Archaic. to have affection for. to aspire to.

  7. (v.i.)Obs. to incline:

    She affects to the old ways.

* Syn: See pretend.Usage: See affect1.

Origin of affect:

1400–50; late ME < MF affecter < L affectāre


Princeton's WordNet

  1. affect(verb)

    the conscious subjective aspect of feeling or emotion

  2. affect, impact, bear upon, bear on, touch on, touch(verb)

    have an effect upon

    "Will the new rules affect me?"

  3. affect(verb)

    act physically on; have an effect upon

    "the medicine affects my heart rate"

  4. involve, affect, regard(verb)

    connect closely and often incriminatingly

    "This new ruling affects your business"

  5. feign, sham, pretend, affect, dissemble(verb)

    make believe with the intent to deceive

    "He feigned that he was ill"; "He shammed a headache"

  6. affect, impress, move, strike(verb)

    have an emotional or cognitive impact upon

    "This child impressed me as unusually mature"; "This behavior struck me as odd"

Kernerman English Learner's Dictionary

  1. affect(verb)əˈfɛkt

    to change or influence

    The disease affects the animal's brain.; car sales affected by high gas prices

Webster Dictionary

  1. Affect(verb)

    to act upon; to produce an effect or change upon

  2. Affect(verb)

    to influence or move, as the feelings or passions; to touch

  3. Affect(verb)

    to love; to regard with affection

  4. Affect(verb)

    to show a fondness for; to like to use or practice; to choose; hence, to frequent habitually

  5. Affect(verb)

    to dispose or incline

  6. Affect(verb)

    to aim at; to aspire; to covet

  7. Affect(verb)

    to tend to by affinity or disposition

  8. Affect(verb)

    to make a show of; to put on a pretense of; to feign; to assume; as, to affect ignorance

  9. Affect(verb)

    to assign; to appoint

  10. Affect(noun)

    affection; inclination; passion; feeling; disposition


  1. Affect

    Affect refers to the experience of feeling or emotion. Affect is a key part of the process of an organism's interaction with stimuli. The word also refers sometimes to affect display, which is "a facial, vocal, or gestural behavior that serves as an indicator of affect". The affective domain represents one of the three divisions described in modern psychology: the cognitive, the conative, and the affective. Classically, these divisions have also been referred to as the "ABC of psychology", in that case using the terms "affect", "behavior", and "cognition". In certain views, the conative may be considered as a part of the affective, or the affective as a part of the cognitive.

U.S. National Library of Medicine

  1. Affect

    The feeling-tone accompaniment of an idea or mental representation. It is the most direct psychic derivative of instinct and the psychic representative of the various bodily changes by means of which instincts manifest themselves.

British National Corpus

  1. Spoken Corpus Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'affect' in Spoken Corpus Frequency: #2232

  2. Written Corpus Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'affect' in Written Corpus Frequency: #1926

  3. Verbs Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'affect' in Verbs Frequency: #169

Translations for affect

Kernerman English Multilingual Dictionary


to act or have an effect on

Rain affects the grass; His kidneys have been affected by the disease.

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