Definition of affair noun from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary



    BrE BrE//əˈfeə(r)//
    ; NAmE NAmE//əˈfer//
    Romance, Separation
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    public/political activities
  1. 1  affairs [plural] events that are of public interest or political importance world/international/business affairs an expert on foreign affairs (= political events in other countries) affairs of state see also current affairs
  2. event
  3. 2  [countable, usually singular] an event that people are talking about or describing in a particular way The newspapers exaggerated the whole affair wildly. The debate was a pretty disappointing affair. She wanted the celebration to be a simple family affair.
  4. relationship
  5. 3  [countable] a sexual relationship between two people, usually when one or both of them are married to somebody else She is having an affair with her boss. They had a passionate affair for six months. see also love affair Wordfinderaffair, date, go out with somebody, jealous, love, marriage, partner, passionate, relationship, romantic See related entries: Romance, Separation
  6. private business
  7. 4  affairs [plural] matters connected with a person’s private business and financial situation I looked after my father's financial affairs. She wanted to put her affairs in order before she died.
  8. 5[singular] a thing that somebody is responsible for (and that other people should not be concerned with) synonym business How I spend my money is my affair.
  9. object
  10. 6[countable] (old-fashioned) (with an adjective) an object that is unusual or difficult to describe Her hat was an amazing affair with feathers and a huge brim.
  11. Word OriginMiddle English: from Old French afaire, from à faire ‘to do’; compare with ado.Extra examples He has tried to play down his involvement in the affair. He’s having an affair with a colleague. How did this state of affairs come about? How long has the affair been going on? I am trying to arrange my father’s financial affairs. I knew that the wedding would be a grand affair. I want to put my affairs in order before I die. It’s a family affair. It’s the story of a secret affair between a married teacher and her teenage student. Many people have criticized the way the government handled the affair. She saw the whole affair as a great joke. She went back home to put her affairs in order before she died. That’s no affair of yours. The Cabinet will be discussing certain affairs of state. What I do at home is my affair. a current affairs programme on television a torrid love affair an affair with a married man the current state of affairs in schools the minister for foreign affairs the newspaper article that exposed this whole sordid affair He believed in a strict separation of the affairs of state and those of the church. He’s an expert on foreign affairs. I ended up disillusioned and bitter about the whole affair. She wanted the celebration to be a simple family affair. The Whitewater affair was the biggest scandal of the decade. The details of your relationship should be a private affair. The talk ranged over a variety of topics, from sport to current affairs. Their affair did not develop into a lasting relationship. world/​international/​business affairsIdioms a situation This state of affairs can no longer be ignored.
See the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary entry: affair