The Meaning of Affinity: What It Is and How To Use It

Do you know the definition of affinity? This article will provide you with all of the information you need on the word affinity, including its definition, etymology, usage, example sentences, and more!

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What does the word affinity mean?

According to Dictionary and the American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, the word affinity is a noun that means a tendency to have a natural liking,an  attractive force, inclination, or natural attraction to someone or something. The suffix  -ties can be added to the end of the word affinity to form the plural affinities. It can also refer to a  family relationship through marriage of a relative, or through adoption. Affinity is four syllables – af-fin-i-ty, and the pronunciation of affinity is əˈfɪnɪtɪ. 

In biology, this refers to the resemblance in the structural parts of a group of organisms or particles, or the similarity of the essential structural parts or anatomical structure that creates a phylogenetic relationship. For example, a prehistoric man might have structural resemblances to the biological populations of different animals based on their taxonomy – they may even contain a similar hormone, antibodies or antigen. Someone can measure to the degree of interaction their close similarity. In chemistry, this can refer to the force by which chemical compounds and chemicals are held together by each receptor, according to Dictionary. This can also refer to keeping a task running on the same processor in a symmetric multiprocessing operating system to reduce the frequency of cache misses.

Words that mean affinity can also be found in many other languages. You may notice that some of these translations look very similar to the word affinity. This is likely because they are from a similar root or common origin. Often, words of a similar root will look and sound similarly or be cognates to each other. The below word lists of translations is provided by Word Sense.

  •  Turkish: alaka‎, ilgi‎
  •  Portuguese: afinidade‎ (fem.)
  •  Serbo-Croatian: afinìtēt‎ (masc.), sklȍnōst‎ (fem.)
  •  French: affinité‎ (fem.)
  •  Esperanto: afineco‎
  •  German: Affinität‎ (fem.)
  •  Polish: bliskość‎ (fem.)
  •  Russian: бли́зость‎ (fem.), сродство́‎ (neut.), влече́ние‎ (neut.), тя́га‎ (fem.), схо́дство‎ (neut.) (similarity)
  •  Dutch: welgezindheid‎ (fem.), affiniteit‎
  •  Hungarian: affinitás‎
  •  Romanian: afinitate‎ (fem.)
  •  Mandarin: 親和力‎, 亲和力‎ (qīnhélì)
  •  Japanese: アフィニティ‎ (afiniti), 親和性‎ (しんわせい, shinwasei)
  •  Spanish: afinidad‎ (fem.)

What are synonyms and antonyms of affinity?

There are a plethora of different words that one can use in place of the word affinity. These are known as synonyms, which are words and phrases that have the same meaning as another word or phrase. Synonyms are very useful to know if you are trying to expand your vocabulary or if you are trying to avoid repeating yourself. This list of synonyms for the word affinity is provided by Power Thesaurus.

  •  close connection
  •  leaning
  •  proclivity
  •  friendship
  •  association
  •  relationship
  •  connection
  •  attraction
  •  love
  •  rapport
  •  resemblance
  •  attachment
  •  relation
  •  penchant
  •  fellow feeling
  •  liking
  •  intimacy
  •  fondness
  •  empathy
  •  druthers
  •  predilection
  •  sympathy
  •  propensity
  •  predisposition
  •  understanding
  •  connectivity
  •  accord
  •  harmony
  •  similarity
  •  alliance
  •  familiarity
  •  affection
  •  likeness
  •  bond
  •  compatibility
  •  agreement
  •  bent
  •  consanguinity
  •  analogy
  •  communion
  •  closeness
  •  inclination
  •  like-mindedness
  •  bias
  •  congeniality
  •  kinship
  •  partiality
  •  friendliness
  •  propinquity
  •  similitude
  •  correspondence

There are also numerous different words that mean the opposite of the word affinity. These are called antonyms. Antonyms are also very useful to know if you are looking to expand your vocabulary. This list of antonyms for the word affinity is also provided by Power Thesaurus.

  •  indifference
  •  loathing
  •  disinclination
  •  enmity
  •  hatred
  •  detestation
  •  resentment
  •  animosity
  •  dissimilarity
  •  horror
  •  abhorrence
  •  hatefulness
  •  dislike
  •  distaste
  •  disliking
  •  detachment
  •  abomination
  •  incompatibility
  •  violence
  •  unfriendliness
  •  venom
  •  animus
  •  spite
  •  revulsion
  •  contempt
  •  unlikeness
  •  disagreement
  •  rancour
  •  distance
  •  disgust
  •  hate
  •  bad blood
  •  dissimilitude
  •  apathy
  •  aversion
  •  antipathy
  •  odium
  •  difference
  •  antagonism
  •  hostility
  •  repugnance
  •  disfavor
  •  disfavour
  •  repulsion
  •  execration
  •  disrelish
  •  coldness
  •  ill feeling
  •  discrepancy
  •  ill will

What is the origin of the word affinity?

According to Etymonline, the word affinity hs been used since the 1300s in Middle English. This comes from the Old French afinite and Latin affinitatem, the nominative Latin affīnitās. This is the compound noun from the Latin affinis and Latin affīnitāt, which comes from the roots ad and finis in Indo-European roots.

How can the word affinity be used in a sentence?

There are many different ways in which the word affinity can be used in a sentence. This is a very versatile word that one will commonly hear. Using words in a sentence is a great way to memorize their definitions, as is using flashcards or quizzes to test your knowledge. Try using this word of the day in a sentence today! Below are several examples of affinity to get you started with using this new word.

She found a deep kinship and affinity for the fellow immigrants who shared her community of interests. The group of opera lovers from all over the world that found themselves in America were forming bonds left and right.

Modern humans are able to find an affinity for a person of the opposite sex without having to have some defined state of relationship. Sam had a feeling of kinship with all of his female friends, but did not have an attraction to them or feel like he wanted a relationship with them.

Politics and wealth can form or destroy affinity amongst people. The rich would charter flights together and make a general plan that left out their friends who were of a lower class, causing dissonance between them. There was no feeling of kinship.

She had a mysterious affinity for the kinswoman of such relationship with her friend. They would spend hours talking about different fabrics such as silk and wool, and became thick as thieves.

Overall, the word affinity means an inclination toward or inherent likeness or taste for something or someone. This word is Latin in origin.


  1. Affinity | Definition of Affinity | 
  2. affinity: meaning, origin, translation | Word Sense 
  3. Affinity synonyms – 1 227 Words and Phrases for Affinity | Power Thesaurus 
  4. Affinity antonyms – 760 Opposites of Affinity | Power Thesaurus 
  5. affinity | Origin and meaning of affinity | Online Etymology Dictionary