Word of the Week: Affinity

Today’s “Word of the Week” is affinity.  According to Webster’s College Dictionary, affinity is a noun that means “a natural liking for or attraction to a person, thing, idea, etc.”  Having an affinity for something means that you are drawn to it in a positive way, feel a connection with it, and enjoy it.  As The Merriam-Webster Dictionary notes, affinity is synonymous with “kinship, relationship, attractive force, attraction, [and/or] sympathy.”

Here’s a personal example.   I have always been fond of—or had an affinity for—reading and thinking about literature, hence my decision to pursue an undergraduate degree in English.  Also, as you may have noticed, I have a strong affinity for my pups (and for taking pictures of them).


Let’s look at some examples of affinity from recent news articles.

“I know I’ve written in the past of my affinity for various holidays, and have even called Halloween one of my favorite times of year, while in other columns have mentioned that Christmas has been my favorite holiday. There are things about each of those days [and] those times of year that I really enjoy. Truthfully, though, if there was one day of the year I had to choose as my favorite, I think it’s Thanksgiving.” http://bit.ly/U5umgk

“Hutchins Consort artistic director Joe McNalley admits he has an affinity for all things Russian. He was probably the only kid in Orange County who had a photo of Soviet cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin, the first human in space, on his bedroom wall. And he especially enjoyed the Russian pieces his mother played on the piano.” http://bit.ly/Tauqxp

“There are some things that transcend rivalries in sport. An affinity for a special place is one of them. Despite playing football for the instate rival Ohio State Buckeyes, Buckeye sophomore tight end Jeff Heuerman has Michigan in his heart. Heuerman and his brothers leave their home in Naples, Fla., every year to spend part of their summer on Petoskey’s Round Lake at their grandparents’ home. ‘I love it up there,’ Heuerman said via a telephone interview Monday. ‘It is nice to get away, play golf, work out and relax.’” http://bit.ly/SGjBPt

“The day we traditionally have set aside to gather the family together around the table is right around the corner. Thanksgiving is the one day of the year when stuffing yourself, as well as the turkey, is perfectly permissible. It is also the only day I would rather cook than go out to dinner. Not because I have any special affinity for the culinary arts, but because of the leftovers. Is there anything better in the whole world than to stand over the kitchen sink at midnight and scarf down half of a cold turkey sandwich dripping with mayonnaise?” http://ohne.ws/U974YI

“For Coloradans, the Colorado River holds a special place in our hearts and lives. It’s been the site of family get-togethers, a place to celebrate or recreate or simply to sit and be restored. We think that every Coloradan feels a special affinity to the river. Stretching all the way to Mexico, the Colorado River also supports businesses and industries. It provides the water for more than 3 million acres of farmland, and it serves 36 million people, providing drinking water as well as recreational activities and jobs.” http://bit.ly/UOTo7B

“A South Asia scholar from Columbia University, known for his affinity with students and potential donors alike, has been selected as the 10th chancellor of UC Berkeley. Nicholas Dirks, 61, who is also Columbia’s executive vice president of Arts and Sciences, will begin his new job June 1. UC Berkeley Chancellor Robert Birgeneau, who had expected to retire in December, will stay through May.” http://bit.ly/U5xhWr

“Niki Hildebrand’s solo exhibition of new three-dimensional glass works, stained glass panels and figure drawings has its opening reception tonight from 6 – 9 p.m. at 621N4TH, 621 N. Fourth St. Hildebrand, a native of London, England, has been drawing since she was a small child, and has carried her affinity for visual arts into a career as a stained glass artist. ‘Since I was two or younger, I’ve been drawing,’ Hildebrand said, ‘and I always wanted to be an artist.  I remember an uncle of mine asked me what I want to do and I said, I want to be an artist,’ and he was like, “well, what does that mean, are you going to teach then?”  And I was like, ‘no I’m just going to be an artist!’  And so that’s all I’ve ever done my whole life.’” http://bit.ly/XqbFK4


For more information on the word affinity, please visit the following Web sites:




Works Cited:

“Affinity.” Webster’s College Dictionary. 2nd Ed., 2001. Print.

“Affinity.” The Merriam-Webster Dictionary. 11th Ed., 2004. Print.


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