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affect Meaning, Definition & Usage

  1. noun the conscious subjective aspect of feeling or emotion
  2. verb have an effect upon
    impact; touch on; bear upon; bear on; touch.
    • Will the new rules affect me?
  3. verb act physically on; have an effect upon
    • the medicine affects my heart rate
  4. verb connect closely and often incriminatingly
    involve; regard.
    • This new ruling affects your business
  5. verb make believe with the intent to deceive
    feign; pretend; dissemble; sham.
    • He feigned that he was ill
    • He shammed a headache
  6. verb have an emotional or cognitive impact upon
    strike; move; impress.
    • This child impressed me as unusually mature
    • This behavior struck me as odd

Af*fect" transitive verb
L. affectus, p. p. of afficere to affect by active agency; ad + facere to make: cf. F. affectere, L. affectare, freq. of afficere. See Fact.
imperfect & past participle Affected; present participle & verbal noun Affecting
  1. To act upon; to produce an effect or change upon.
    As might affect the earth with cold heat. Milton.
    The climate affected their health and spirits. Macaulay.
  2. To influence or move, as the feelings or passions; to touch.
    A consideration of the rationale of our passions seems to me very necessary for all who would affect them upon solid and pure principles.
  3. To love; to regard with affection. Obs.
    As for Queen Katharine, he rather respected than affected, rather honored than loved, her. Fuller.
  4. To show a fondness for; to like to use or practice; to choose; hence, to frequent habitually.
    For he does neither affect company, nor is he fit for t, indeed. Shak.
    Do not affect the society of your inferiors in rank, nor court that of the great. Hazlitt.
  5. To dispose or incline.
    Men whom they thought best affected to religion and their country's liberty. Milton.
  6. To aim at; to aspire; to covet. Obs.
    This proud man affects imperial way. Dryden.
  7. To tend to by affinity or disposition.
    The drops of every fluid affect a round figure. Newton.
  8. To make a show of; to put on a pretense of; to feign; to assume; as, to affect ignorance.
    Careless she is with artful care, Affecting to seem unaffected. Congreve.
    Thou dost affect my manners. Shak.
  9. To assign; to appoint. R.
    One of the domestics was affected to his special service. Thackeray.
    Syn. -- To influence; operate; act on; concern; move; melt; soften; subdue; overcome; pretend; assume.
Af*fect" noun
L. affectus.
  1. Affection; inclination; passion; feeling; disposition. Obs. Shak.

Webster 1913