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showing, indicating, or characterized by affection or love; fondly tender:
an affectionate embrace.
having great affection or love; warmly attached; loving:
your affectionate brother.

strongly disposed or inclined.
passionate; headstrong.
biased; partisan.

Contemporary Examples

The Volcano is affectionately known as the “Mercedes Benz” of toking up.
How Rich People Smoke Pot Paul Schrodt February 6, 2010

Disraeli affectionately (and with irreverence that shocked everyone but la reine) referred to Victoria as the “Faery Queen.”
Bachelor Brad Womack’s Hidden Brilliance Nicole LaPorte February 19, 2011

Or as Jon Goldwater, publisher and co-CEO of Archie Comics, affectionately calls him, “Archie West.”
Lena Dunham and the Renaissance of Archie Andrews (He’s Not Dead Yet) Hugh Ryan April 8, 2014

A liberal’s conception of tolerance presupposes what we once affectionately called “the Enlightenment.”
Women: Talk To The Wall Bernard Avishai June 13, 2013

These physical traits signal a woman who is “protective of her family” and also “affectionately sexual.”
Tea Party Lewinsky Look-Alikes The Daily Beast October 3, 2010

Historical Examples

We turned to the right and I took James affectionately by the arm.
Punch, or the London Charivari, Vol. 147, September 16, 1914 Various

“She does,—I am sure she does say so,” responded Bertha, affectionately.
Fairy Fingers Anna Cora Mowatt Ritchie

Uarda wept aloud; Nefert put her arm around her affectionately.
Uarda, Complete Georg Ebers

“In that case I will not abandon my friends,” said the doctor, affectionately.
White Lies Charles Reade

She was speaking tenderly, affectionately, as if in motherly counsel to a son in danger of going wrong.
The Torrent Vicente Blasco Ibaez

having or displaying tender feelings, affection, or warmth: an affectionate mother, an affectionate letter

1580s, from affectionate + -ly (2).

1580s, “fond, loving,” from affection + -ate (1). Early, now mostly obsolete, senses included “inclined” (1530s), “prejudiced” (1530s), “passionate” (1540s), “earnest” (c.1600). Other forms also used in the main modern sense of the word included affectious (1580s), affectuous (mid-15c.).


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  • Affective

    of, caused by, or expressing emotion or feeling; emotional. causing emotion or feeling. Contemporary Examples The repetitive nature of his work is both effective and affective, especially in an exhibition of this scale. Keith Haring’s Public, Political Art at Paris’s Musée D’Art Moderne Alice Cavanagh April 18, 2013 Instead, it turned out to be richly […]

  • Affective disorder

    any mental disorder, as depressive disorder, bipolar disorder, or cyclothymia, in which a major disturbance of feelings or emotions is predominant. noun any mental disorder, such as depression or mania, that is characterized by abnormal disturbances of mood affective disorder n. Any of a group of disorders characterized by a prolonged, pervasive disturbance of mood […]

  • Affective fallacy

    a proposition in literary criticism that a poem should be analyzed and described in terms of its own internal structure and not in terms of the emotional response it arouses in the reader. noun in literary criticism, the theory that poetry’s internal structure should be analyzed and described as opposed to its emotional effect on […]

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