Main definitions of affect in English

: affect1affect2affect3

affect1

Pronunciation /əˈfekt/ /əˈfɛkt/

transitive verb

[with object]
  • 1Have an effect on; make a difference to.

    ‘the dampness began to affect my health’
    with clause ‘your attitude will affect how successful you are’
    • ‘Differences in environment or health status may affect how people respond to subjective assessments.’
    • ‘This is beginning to affect how the law determines which of these relationships should be given legal recognition.’
    • ‘The effects of the hunger affected each of their kind differently.’
    • ‘It is not just the physical effect of rain that affects us all, it is the gloom that goes with it.’
    • ‘The city has been affected by after effects of the quake, with over 200 casualties reported by police and hospital sources.’
    • ‘The murder rates of the U.S. and U.K. are also affected by differences in the way each counts homicides.’
    • ‘Sheila said the pub would continue fundraising but this year's effort had been affected by the effect of the scam.’
    • ‘Battlefield effects on soldiers affected everyone - veterans and young soldiers alike.’
    • ‘Eventually, our ordinary people will be affected with adverse effects on our still fragile economy.’
    • ‘The demand has also been affected because of the effects of the energy crisis in the year 1973.’
    • ‘I needed a place to fully explore cultural differences that affected me as a therapist.’
    • ‘These flow-rate differences affect the glaciers' surface topography.’
    • ‘In this way, the tank fulfills both the physical and the psychological effects needed to affect the enemy's will to fight.’
    • ‘It is possible that the difference in setting could affect the way personal topics impact on participation rates.’
    • ‘Since then, science, health, medicine and technology - and how they affect how we all live - have become central themes on the programme.’
    • ‘Apart from the physical effects, he admits his mental health has also been affected.’
    • ‘Towns said the new rule would not affect how his team conducted its attacking or defensive penalty-corners.’
    • ‘Personal mission statements can drive us and affect how we conduct daily journalism.’
    • ‘Research from the United States suggests that the neighbourhood you live in can affect how well your children perform at school.’
    • ‘A variety of factors can affect how much you pay for insurance, such as where you live, the age and health of your animal and the level of cover you require.’
    affect, influence, exert influence on, act on, work on, condition, touch, interact with, have an impact on, impact on, take hold of, attack, infect, strike, strike at, hit
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1Touch the feelings of (someone); move emotionally.
      ‘the atrocities he witnessed have affected him most deeply’
      • ‘I was really affected and touched by the sound of her voice, which differed from any conventional idea of a beautiful voice.’
      • ‘But these are the stories that affected me, that moved me, that stayed with me.’
      • ‘I do not remember the last time I was so viscerally affected by a literary account of another person's experience.’
      • ‘Alison, who is visibly affected by the reappearance of her old lover, at first tries to avoid him.’
      • ‘Despite admitting to affairs in his rock-star years, he remains terribly affected by her death.’
      • ‘When I saw the documentary "Fahrenheit 9/11," I was really affected by it.’
      • ‘Salinger's book has powerfully affected, and still affects, so many generations of readers.’
      touching, moving, emotive, powerful, stirring, impressive, telling, soul-stirring, uplifting, heart-warming
      upset, trouble, hit hard, overwhelm, devastate, damage, hurt, pain, grieve, sadden, distress, disturb, perturb, agitate, shake, shake up, stir
      View synonyms

Usage

Affect and effect are both verbs and nouns, but only effect is common as a noun, usually meaning ‘a result, consequence, impression, etc.’: my father's warnings had no effect on my adventurousness. The noun affect is restricted almost entirely to psychology (see
affect
). As verbs, they are used differently. Affect most commonly means ‘produce an effect on, influence’: smoking during pregnancy can affect the baby's development. Affect also means ‘pretend to have or feel (something)’ (see
affect
): she affected a concern for those who had lost their jobs. Effect means ‘bring about’: the negotiators effected an agreement despite many difficulties

Origin

Late Middle English (in the sense ‘attack as a disease’): from French affecter or Latin affect- ‘influenced, affected’, from the verb afficere (see affect).

Pronunciation

affect

/əˈfekt/ /əˈfɛkt/

Main definitions of affect in English

: affect1affect2affect3

affect2

Pronunciation /əˈfekt/ /əˈfɛkt/

transitive verb

[with object]
  • 1Pretend to have or feel (something)

    ‘as usual I affected a supreme unconcern’
    with infinitive ‘a book that affects to loathe the modern world’
    • ‘Although the author affects befuddlement, his book demonstrates an unfaltering sense of self.’
    • ‘The boy then sat on top of the pillow, affecting an air of supreme indifference.’
    • ‘One can affect unawareness, feign indifference or summon up some other defense against such entreaties.’
    • ‘But he has always affected a public air of unconcern whenever the subject comes up.’
    • ‘These affect an air of tired superiority in a world of unoriginal humorists.’
    pretend, feign, fake, counterfeit, sham, simulate, fabricate, give the appearance of, make a show of, make a pretence of, play at, go through the motions of
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1Use, wear, or assume (something) pretentiously or so as to make an impression on others.
      ‘an American who had affected a British accent’
      • ‘He has enough shirt buttons undone to wear a medallion, but instead affects a necklace.’
      • ‘Sometimes you become very aware that you're watching an actor affecting crazy mannerisms in a crazy movie.’
      • ‘Her haughty tone affected the third voice, giving him the impression that she was annoyed.’
      • ‘Rosalinda, who was also invited to the party, arrives there, affecting the airs of a Hungarian countess.’
      • ‘He wasn't accepted, even when he affected an accent.’
      assume, put on, take on, adopt, like, have a liking for, embrace, espouse
      View synonyms

Origin

Late Middle English from French affecter or Latin affectare ‘aim at’, frequentative of afficere ‘work on, influence’, from ad- ‘at, to’ + facere ‘do’. The original sense was ‘like, love’, hence ‘(like to) use, assume, etc.’.

Pronunciation

affect

/əˈfekt/ /əˈfɛkt/

Main definitions of affect in English

: affect1affect2affect3

affect3

Pronunciation /ˈafekt/ /ˈæfɛkt/ /əˈfekt/ /əˈfɛkt/

noun

Psychology
  • Emotion or desire, especially as influencing behavior or action.

    • ‘By triggering affect and emotion, intolerant behaviors are set in motion.’
    • ‘We have come a long way from Freud's affect theory to viewing emotions as joining and integrating minds.’
    • ‘This, says Jung, is because they confuse feeling with emotion or affect.’
    • ‘There has also been a need to begin to integrate a focus on affect in behavioral couples therapy.’
    • ‘A third component of reactive aggression is affect, and specifically anger.’

Usage

See
affect

Origin

Late 19th century coined in German from Latin affectus ‘disposition’, from afficere ‘to influence’ (see affect).

Pronunciation

affect

/ˈafekt/ /ˈæfɛkt/ /əˈfekt/ /əˈfɛkt/