General English


  • noun business or dealings


  • noun a sexual relationship where one party or both parties are married to someone else


  • noun something shocking that involves public figures
  • plural noun activities and events related to the government of a country or countries

Origin & History of “affair”

like ado, and of course to-do, affair originally meant literally ‘to do’. It was coined in Old French from the phrase à faire ‘to do’, and entered English via Anglo-Norman afere. The spelling affair was established by Caxton, who based it on the French model. The specific sense of a ‘love affair’ dates from the early 18th century.