Also found in: Thesaurus, Medical, Idioms.
Related to affairs: Extramarital affairs


a. Something done or experienced; a matter or event: Preparing dessert was a messy affair.
b. A matter of personal concern: What I did is my own affair.
c. A matter causing public scandal and controversy: the Dreyfus affair.
d. A social function: The reception was a posh affair.
2. affairs
a. Transactions and other matters of professional or public business: affairs of state.
b. Personal business: get one's affairs in order.
3. An object or a contrivance: Their first car was a ramshackle affair.
4. A sexual relationship between two people, especially when at least one of them is married or in another committed romantic relationship.

[Middle English affaire, from Old French afaire, from a faire, to do : a, to (from Latin ad; see ad-) + faire, to do (from Latin facere; see dhē- in Indo-European roots).]


pl n
1. personal or business interests: his affairs were in disorder.
2. matters of public interest: current affairs.
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.affairs - matters of personal concernaffairs - matters of personal concern; "get his affairs in order"
concern - something that interests you because it is important or affects you; "the safety of the ship is the captain's concern"
dirty laundry, dirty linen - personal matters that could be embarrassing if made public
2.affairs - transactions of professional or public interestaffairs - transactions of professional or public interest; "news of current affairs"; "great affairs of state"
transaction, dealing, dealings - the act of transacting within or between groups (as carrying on commercial activities); "no transactions are possible without him"; "he has always been honest is his dealings with me"
international affairs, world affairs - affairs between nations; "you can't really keep up with world affairs by watching television"
politics - the activities and affairs involved in managing a state or a government; "unemployment dominated the politics of the inter-war years"; "government agencies multiplied beyond the control of representative politics"
References in classic literature ?
In a single State, the requisite knowledge relates to the existing laws which are uniform throughout the State, and with which all the citizens are more or less conversant; and to the general affairs of the State, which lie within a small compass, are not very diversified, and occupy much of the attention and conversation of every class of people.
It is that of flatterers, of whom courts are full, because men are so self-complacent in their own affairs, and in a way so deceived in them, that they are preserved with difficulty from this pest, and if they wish to defend themselves they run the danger of falling into contempt.
"I am connected with the General," he said drily, "partly through business affairs, and partly through special circumstances.
First, the revealing of affairs, whereby they become less secret.
The Rostovs' monetary affairs had not improved during the two years they had spent in the country.
Mr Allworthy and Mrs Miller had been above an hour together, when their conversation was put an end to by the arrival of Blifil and another person, which other person was no less than Mr Dowling, the attorney, who was now become a great favourite with Mr Blifil, and whom Mr Allworthy, at the desire of his nephew, had made his steward; and had likewise recommended him to Mr Western, from whom the attorney received a promise of being promoted to the same office upon the first vacancy; and, in the meantime, was employed in transacting some affairs which the squire then had in London in relation to a mortgage.
In order to keep his affairs in some sort of order, he used about five times a year (more or less frequently, according to circumstances) to shut himself up alone and put all his affairs into definite shape.
You and I are well enough acquainted with each other, and one's own affairs are one's own affairs.
These things are useful in the management of one's affairs; to be skilful in the nature of cattle, which are most profitable, and where, and how; as for instance, what advantage will arise from keeping horses, or oxen, or sheep, or any other live stock; it is also necessary to be acquainted with the comparative value of these things, and which of them in particular places are worth most; for some do better in one place, some in another.
It is well known how violent the king's prejudices were against the queen, and how carefully these prejudices were kept up by the cardinal, who in affairs of intrigue mistrusted women infinitely more than men.
"Have we returned to the times when Cromwell sent us bullies in the guise of charges d'affaires? You want nothing monsieur, but the steel cap on your head, and a Bible at your girdle."
There is much in this affair of a kind that does not meet the eye in a usual anarchist outrage, even if one looked into it as deep as can be.