Etymology
Advertisement

affinity (n.)

c. 1300, "relation by marriage" (as opposed to consanguinity), from Old French afinite "relationship, kinship; neighborhood, vicinity" (12c., Modern French affinité), from Latin affinitatem (nominative affinitas) "relationship by marriage; neighborhood," noun of state from affinis "adjoining, adjacent," also "kin by marriage," literally "bordering on," from ad "to" (see ad-) + finis "a border, a boundary" (see finish (v.)).

The spelling was re-Latinized in early Modern English. It has been used figuratively in English since c. 1600 of structural relationships in chemistry, philology, geometry, etc. The meaning "natural liking or attraction, a relationship as close as family between persons not related by blood" is from 1610s.

updated on September 15, 2022

Advertisement
Advertisement
Definitions of affinity from WordNet

affinity (n.)
(immunology) the attraction between an antigen and an antibody;
affinity (n.)
(anthropology) kinship by marriage or adoption; not a blood relationship;
affinity (n.)
(biology) state of relationship between organisms or groups of organisms resulting in resemblance in structure or structural parts;
in anatomical structure prehistoric man shows close affinity with modern humans
Synonyms: phylogenetic relation
affinity (n.)
a close connection marked by community of interests or similarity in nature or character;
found a natural affinity with the immigrants
Synonyms: kinship
affinity (n.)
the force attracting atoms to each other and binding them together in a molecule;
basic dyes have an affinity for wool and silk
Synonyms: chemical attraction
affinity (n.)
inherent resemblance between persons or things;
affinity (n.)
a natural attraction or feeling of kinship;
the mysterious affinity between them
James's affinity with Sam
an affinity for politics
Etymologies are not definitions. From wordnet.princeton.edu, not affiliated with etymonline.