affect


affect
affect simulate, *assume, pretend, feign, counterfeit, sham
affect 1 Affect, influence, touch, impress, strike, sway are more or less closely synonymous when they mean to produce or to have an effect upon a person or upon a thing capable of a reaction.
Affect always presupposes a stimulus powerful enough to evoke a response or elicit a reaction
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our eardrums are affected by ten octaves, at most, out of the endless range of sounds— Jeans

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even changes of season affect the townsman very little—Often, in addition, affect implies a definite alteration or modification

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I am afraid . . . that this adventure has rather affected your admiration of her fine eyes— Austen

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When the object of the verb is a person, an intellectual or emotional effect is usually implied
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such poetry affects one as trite and meaningless

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the sight affected her to tears

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Influence always presupposes an agent that moves a person or thing in some way or to some degree from a course, or effects changes in nature, character, or behavior
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the judge was never influenced in his decisions by his sympathies or prejudices

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the body influences the mind and the mind the body

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the Society of Friends had been influenced by Quietism, and adversely affected by the paralyzing rationalism of the reigns of the first two Georges— Inge

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Sometimes the implication of inducing, or inciting, or persuading, or even bribing is strong
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monomaniacs, having first persuaded themselves, contrive to influence their neighbors— Meredith

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Touch frequently equals affect, but it often carries a more vivid suggestion of close contact or of the force of an impact, and therefore variously connotes stirring, arousing, or harming
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he was for the first time powerfully touched by the presence of a woman— Anderson

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a small object whose exquisite workmanship has touched me with its intimate charm— J. S. Untermeyer

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Touch, most often, but impress and strike always, imply a mental or emotional effect. Impress usually stresses the depth and the lastingness of the effect, for something that impresses is commonly what is remembered or noticed or is worth remembering or noticing
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only one of the speeches that evening impressed him

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the men he wanted to impress were only amused— Anderson

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Strike is often felt to be more colloquial than impress and less rich in its suggestions
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a hat that struck her fancy

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However strike connotes suddenness or sharpness of response rather than depth of impression; it may even carry a hint of a swift passing
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the remark struck him as extremely acute

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they strike mine eyes, but not my heart— Ben Jonson

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Sway, which basically means to influence, differs from the latter word in implying both the pressure or control of some force that is either not resisted or is in itself irresistible, and resulting change or fluctuation in character, opinions, or decisions of the person concerned
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the notion . . . of capricious deities, swayed by human passions and desires, was incompatible with the idea of fixed law— Dickinson

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other conditions than those of classroom have swayed him for good or evil— Suzzallo

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he is swayed by fashion, by suggestion, by transient moods— Mencken

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Analogous words: *move, actuate, drive, impel: pierce, penetrate (see ENTER): *thrill, electrify
3 Affect, effect are often a source of difficulty because both verbs imply the production of an effect and take as their corresponding noun the same word, effect.
Affect, the verb (see AFFECT 1), distinctively implies the action or operation of an agency rather than of an agent; it therefore means to influence
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moisture affects steel

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high prices affect our pocketbooks

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the climate has affected his health

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Effect, the verb (see PERFORM), implies the achievement of an end in view, and requires as its subject an intelligent agent or the means he uses to attain his end: it therefore means to bring about
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the prisoners effected their escape

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the new system of accounting will effect a reduction in costs

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Since the noun effect may be applied to any result whether brought about unconsciously or consciously, it serves equally well whether it names a result of the influence of one thing upon another or of directed effort.

New Dictionary of Synonyms. 2014.

Synonyms:

Look at other dictionaries:

  • affect — [ afɛkt ] n. m. • 1908; all. Affekt; a. fr. et XVIe « état, disposition »; du lat. affectus, comme l all. ♦ Psychol. État affectif élémentaire. Les sensations et les affects. ● affect nom masculin (allemand Affekt) Processus de décharge de l… …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • Affect — Af*fect , v. t. [imp. & p. p. {Affected}; p. pr. & vb. n. {Affecting}.] [L. affectus, p. p. of afficere to affect by active agency; ad + facere to make: cf. F. affectere, L. affectare, freq. of afficere. See {Fact}.] 1. To act upon; to produce an …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • affect — affect, effect 1. These two words are often confused. It should be remembered that effect is most common as a noun meaning ‘a result or consequence’ • (In England, at any rate, education produces no effect whatsoever Oscar Wilde) and that affect… …   Modern English usage

  • affect — Ⅰ. affect [1] ► VERB 1) make a difference to; have an effect on. 2) touch the feelings of. DERIVATIVES affecting adjective. USAGE Affect and effect are frequently confused …   English terms dictionary

  • affect — I verb act on, adficere, bear upon, cause to alter, cause to vary, change, commovere, conduce, exert influence, have an effect upon, have influence, impress, induce, influence, introduce a change, make a change, play a direct part, prevail upon,… …   Law dictionary

  • affect — [v1] influence, affect emotionally act on, alter, change, disturb, impinge, impress, induce, influence, inspire, interest, involve, modify, move, overcome, perturb, prevail, regard, relate, stir, sway, touch, transform, upset; concepts… …   New thesaurus

  • affect — affect1 [ə fekt′; ] for n. [ 2, af′ekt΄] vt. [ME affecten < L affectare, to strive after < affectus, pp. of afficere, to influence, attack < ad , to + facere, DO1] 1. to have an effect on; influence; produce a change in [bright light… …   English World dictionary

  • Affect — Af*fect ([a^]f*f[e^]kt ), n. [L. affectus.] 1. Affection; inclination; passion; feeling; disposition. [Obs.] Shak. [1913 Webster] 2. (Psychotherapy) The emotional complex associated with an idea or mental state. In hysteria, the affect is… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • affect — affect, affective, affectivity An affect is an emotion. In sociology the use of the term generally implies that an action is being or has been carried out for emotional gratification. For example, in their discussion of Class Awareness in the… …   Dictionary of sociology

  • Affect — (v. lat.), schnell entstehende, lebhafte, ein bemerkliches Streben durch Aufhebung des Gleichgewichts im Gemüth hervorbringende, auf die Functionen des Geistes u. Körpers sichtbaren Einfluß habende Gemüthsbewegung. A. entsteht, wenn eine… …   Pierer's Universal-Lexikon


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