What does affection mean?

Definitions for affection
əˈfɛk ʃənaf·fec·tion

This dictionary definitions page includes all the possible meanings, example usage and translations of the word affection.

Princeton's WordNet

  1. affection, affectionateness, fondness, tenderness, heart, warmness, warmheartedness, philianoun

    a positive feeling of liking

    "he had trouble expressing the affection he felt"; "the child won everyone's heart"; "the warmness of his welcome made us feel right at home"


  1. affectionnoun

    The act of affecting or acting upon.

  2. affectionnoun

    The state of being affected.

  3. affectionnoun

    An attribute; a quality or property; a condition; a bodily state; as, figure, weight, etc., are affections of bodies.

  4. affectionnoun

    Bent of mind; a feeling or natural impulse or natural impulse acting upon and swaying the mind; any emotion; as, the benevolent affections, esteem, gratitude, etc.; the malevolent affections, hatred, envy, etc.; inclination; disposition; propensity; tendency.

  5. affectionnoun

    Kind feeling; love; zealous or tender attachment; settled good will.

    Usage note: often in the plural; formerly followed by "to", but now more generally by "for" or "toward(s)"; as, filial, social, or conjugal affections; to have an affection for or towards children

  6. affectionnoun

    Disease; morbid symptom; malady; as, a pulmonary affection. --Dunglison.

  7. affectionverb

    to feel an affection, emotion or love for.

  8. Etymology: From affection, from affectionem, from affectio; see affect.

Samuel Johnson's Dictionary

  1. AFFECTIONnoun

    Etymology: affection, Fr. affectio, Lat.

    Some men there are love not a gaping pig;
    Some that are mad if they behold a cat;
    And others, when the bag-pipe sings i’ th’ nose,
    Cannot contain their urine, for affection. William Shakespeare, Merchant of Venice.

    Then gan the Palmer thus: most wretched man,
    That to affections does the bridle lend;
    In their beginning they are weak and wan,
    But soon through sufferance grow to fearful end. Fairy Q.

    Impute it to my late solitary life, which is prone to affections. Philip Sidney, b. i.

    Affections, as joy, grief, fear, and anger, with such like, being, as it were, the sundry fashions and forms of appetite, can neither rise at the conceit of a thing indifferent, nor yet choose but rise at the sight of some things. Richard Hooker, b. i.

    To speak truth of Cæsar,
    I have not known when his affections sway’d
    More than his reason. William Shakespeare, Julius Cæsar.

    Zeal ought to be composed of the highest degrees of pious affections; of which some are milder and gentler, some sharper and more vehement. Thomas Sprat, Sermons.

    I can present nothing beyond this to your affections, to excite your love and desire. John Tillotson.

    I have acquainted you
    With the dear love I bear to fair Anne Page,
    Who mutually hath answer’d my affection. William Shakespeare, Merry Wives of Windsor.

    My king is tangl’d in affection to
    A creature of the queen’s lady Anne Bullen. William Shakespeare, Henry VIII.

    What warmth is there in your affection towards any of these princely suitors? William Shakespeare, Merchant of Venice.

    Make his interest depend upon mutual affection and good correspondence with others. Jeremy Collier, on General Kindness.

    Nor at first sight, like most, admires the fair;
    For you he lives, and you alone shall share
    His last affection, as his early care. Alexander Pope.

    I have reason to distrust mine own judgment, as that which may be overborn by my zeal and affection to this cause. Francis Bacon, Holy War.

    Set your affection upon my words; desire them, and ye shall be instructed. Wisdom, vi. 11.

    His integrity to the king was without blemish, and his affection to the church so notorious, that he never deserted it. Cla.

    All the precepts of christianity command us to moderate our passions, to temper our affections towards all things below. William Temple.

    Let not the mind of a student be under the influence of warm affection to things of sense, when he comes to the search of truth. Isaac Watts, Improvement of the Mind.

    There grows,
    In my most ill compos’d affection, such A stanchless avarice, that, were I king,
    I should cut off the nobles for their lands. William Shakespeare, Macbeth.

    The man that hath no musick in himself,
    Nor is not mov’d with concord of sweet sounds,
    Is fit for treasons, stratagems, and spoils;
    The motions of his spirit are dull as night,
    And his affections dark as Erebus:
    Let no such man be trusted. William Shakespeare, Merchant of Venice.

    The certainty and accurateness which is attributed to what they deliver, must be restrained to what they teach, concerning those purely mathematical disciplines, arithmetick and geometry, where the affections of quantity are abstractedly considered. Boyle.

    The mouth being necessary to conduct the voice to the shape of its cavity, necessarily gives the voice some particular affection of sound in its passage before it come to the lips. William Holder, Elements of Speech.

    God may have joined immaterial souls to other kinds of bodies, and in other laws of union; and, from those different laws of union, there will arise quite different affections, and natures, and species of the compound beings. Richard Bentley, Sermons.

    It seemed to me a venereal gonorrhæa, and others thought it arose from some scorbutical affection. Richard Wiseman, Surgery.

    Affection is the lively representment of any passion whatsoever, as if the figures stood not upon a cloth or board, but as if they were acting upon a stage. Henry Wotton, Architecture.


  1. affection

    Affection refers to a gentle feeling of fondness, love, or caring towards someone or something. It is often characterized by feelings of warmth, companionship, tenderness, and attachment. It may be expressed through actions such as hugging, kissing, holding hands, or just spending quality time with the person or thing one is affectionate towards.

Webster Dictionary

  1. Affectionnoun

    the act of affecting or acting upon; the state of being affected

  2. Affectionnoun

    an attribute; a quality or property; a condition; a bodily state; as, figure, weight, etc. , are affections of bodies

  3. Affectionnoun

    bent of mind; a feeling or natural impulse or natural impulse acting upon and swaying the mind; any emotion; as, the benevolent affections, esteem, gratitude, etc.; the malevolent affections, hatred, envy, etc.; inclination; disposition; propensity; tendency

  4. Affectionnoun

    a settled good will; kind feeling; love; zealous or tender attachment; -- often in the pl. Formerly followed by to, but now more generally by for or towards; as, filial, social, or conjugal affections; to have an affection for or towards children

  5. Affectionnoun

    prejudice; bias

  6. Affectionnoun

    disease; morbid symptom; malady; as, a pulmonary affection

  7. Affectionnoun

    the lively representation of any emotion

  8. Affectionnoun


  9. Affectionnoun

    passion; violent emotion


  1. Affection

    Affection or fondness is a "disposition or rare state of mind or body" that is often associated with a feeling or type of love. It has given rise to a number of branches of philosophy and psychology concerning emotion, disease, influence, state of being, "Affection" is popularly used to denote a feeling or type of love, amounting to more than goodwill or friendship. Writers on ethics generally use the word to refer to distinct states of feeling, both lasting and spasmodic. Some contrast it with passion as being free from the distinctively sensual element.

Chambers 20th Century Dictionary

  1. Affection

    af-fek′shun, n. kindness or love: attachment: (Shak.) affectation: an attribute or property: a disposition of mind: a disease or abnormal state of body or mind.—adjs. Affec′tional; Affec′tionate, full of affection: loving: (obs.) eager, passionate, well inclined to; Affec′tionated (obs.).—adv. Affec′tionately.—n. Affec′tionateness.—adj. Affec′tioned (B.), affected, disposed: (Shak.) full of affectation. [L. See Affect.]

Editors Contribution

  1. affection

    The ability to feel, touch and give attention using love.

    They did show beautiful affection towards each other.

    Submitted by MaryC on February 15, 2020  

Matched Categories

British National Corpus

  1. Nouns Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'affection' in Nouns Frequency: #2178

How to pronounce affection?

How to say affection in sign language?


  1. Chaldean Numerology

    The numerical value of affection in Chaldean Numerology is: 6

  2. Pythagorean Numerology

    The numerical value of affection in Pythagorean Numerology is: 7

Examples of affection in a Sentence

  1. Mahatma Gandhi, 1922 Circuit House speech (court) charged with "attempting to disaffect towrds his majestys government":

    Affection cannot be manufactored or regulated by law. If one has no affection for a person or a system, one should be free to give the fullest expression to his disaffection, so long as he does not contemplate, promote, or incite to violence.

  2. Jeb Bush Junior:

    Here in the U.S., Cinco de Mayo has become a day where we celebrate our ties with Mexico and the great contributions of the Mexican-American community in the U.S. In my case, this relationship is very profound. My wife Columba was born in Mexico, my family has always had strong ties with Mexico and I have great respect and affection for our neighboring country.

  3. Marco Rubio:

    We have great affection for Nevada, we look forward to coming back many times.

  4. Geena Davis:

    Thelma Louise. there's still so much affection for the movie and we loved it.

  5. Robyn Crawford:

    I think what they had between them is a real, honest and fierce affection and caring for one another, may we all have a friend who will fight for us.

Popularity rank by frequency of use


Translations for affection

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"affection." Definitions.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2023. Web. 10 Dec. 2023. <https://www.definitions.net/definition/affection>.

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    a state of irritation or annoyance
    • A. descant
    • B. monish
    • C. huff
    • D. abet

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