UK:*UK and possibly other pronunciationsUK and possibly other pronunciations/əˈfɛkt/US:USA pronunciation: IPA and respellingUSA pronuncation: IPA/əˈfɛkt/ ,USA pronunciation: respelling(v. ə fekt′; n. af′ekt)
to produce an effect or change in: Cold weather affected the crops.
to impress the mind or move the feelings of:The tragedy affected him deeply.
affect is a verb, affected and affectionate are adjectives, affection is a noun:Nothing seems to affect him. The way he speaks is affected and phony. The cat is friendly and affectionate. She shows a lot of affection for everyone.
to pretend; feign: [~ + object]to affect concern for others.[~ + to + verb]He affected to know a lot about ancient history.
to assume pretentiously or for effect:[~ + object]He affected an English accent.
to use, wear, or adopt by choice:[~ + object]to affect outrageous clothes.
to act on; produce an effect or change in:Cold weather affected the crops.
to impress the mind or move the feelings of:The music affected him deeply.
Pathology(of pain, disease, etc.) to attack or lay hold of.
Psychiatryfeeling or emotion.
Psychiatryan expressed or observed emotional response:Restricted, flat, or blunted affect may be a symptom of mental illness, especially schizophrenia.
[Obs.]affection; passion; sensation; inclination; inward disposition or feeling.
Latin affectus acted upon, subjected to; mental or emotional state (past participle and action noun, nominal of afficere), equivalent. to af-af- + fec- (combining form of facere to make, do) + -tus action noun, nominal suffix or -tus past participle suffix
Middle English 1350–1400
1.See corresponding entry in Unabridged influence, sway; modify, alter.
2.See corresponding entry in Unabridged touch, stir.
Affect1 and effect, each both noun and verb, share the sense of "influence,'' and because of their similarity in pronunciation are sometimes confused in writing. As a verb affect1 means "to act on'' or "to move'' (His words affected the crowd so deeply that many wept); affect2 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.The noun affect1 pronounced with the stress on the first syllable, is a technical term in psychology and psychiatry. Affect2 is not used as a noun.
af•fect2(ə fekt′),USA pronunciationv.t.
to give the appearance of; pretend or feign:to affect knowledge of the situation.
to assume artificially, pretentiously, or for effect:to affect a Southern accent.
to use, wear, or adopt by preference; choose; prefer:the peculiar costume he affected.
to assume the character or attitude of:to affect the freethinker.
(of things) to tend toward habitually or naturally:a substance that affects colloidal form.
Ecology(of animals and plants) to occupy or inhabit; live in or on:Lions affect Africa. Moss affects the northern slopes.
to have affection for; fancy.
to aim at; aspire to.
[Obs.]to incline, tend, or favor (usually fol. by to):He affects to the old ways.
Latin affectāre to strive after, feign (frequentative of afficere to do to), equivalent. to af-af- + fec- (see affect1) + -tāre frequentative suffix
Middle French affecter
late Middle English 1400–50
1.See corresponding entry in Unabridged See pretend.