Affect Synonym Guide — Definition, Antonyms & Examples

The word ‘affect’ signifies the process of influencing someone or something. A synonym for affect is the word ‘influence.Learning other alternatives for the term adds to your vocabulary and enriches your writing.

This guide is a valuable resource that explores the word ‘affect,’ its synonyms, and antonyms.

Affect Etymology and Definition

‘Affect’ is a verb borrowed from Latin affectāre, afficere (“to act upon”) and ad- + facere (“to make, do”). The verb takes the following forms: simple present – affects, present participle – affecting, simple past and past participle – affected.

Affect means to have an effect on something or something. It also means to bring about a change. 

Sentence Examples

  • Domestic violence can affect the upbringing of a child.
  • Things people see in their surroundings affect their perspective of life.
  • James’ decision to drop out of school will affect his future.
  • Pollution will affect all of us either directly or indirectly.
  • The decree made by the military officer will affect all citizens of the country.
  • The government’s new policy will affect the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP).
  • Concentration affects the rate of a chemical reaction.
  • I was affected by the unfavorable ending of the play.

Synonym for Affect — Exploring words with Similar Meanings

Words with similar meanings to ‘affect’ are alter, impact, touch, disturb, modify, simulate and change. Other terms related to affect are: impress, attack, control, and take hold of.

1. Influence

The term originates from Medieval Latin īnfluentia, and Latin īnfluēns (“flowing in”). Influence means to control or to take hold of.

  • The drugs he took had a considerable influence on his behavior.
  • My present job significantly influences the growth of my career.

2. Alter

The word is derived from Old French alterer (French altérer), Medieval Latin alterare (“to make other”), and Latin alter (“the other”). Alter connotes changing the attributes of something.

  • The scientist said his experiment would alter the expected rate of the chemical reaction.
  • Nothing can alter the fact that children are their parents’ responsibility.

3. Impact

The word impact – “having a strong effect on an entity” originates from Latin impingō (“dash against, impinge”), in- + pangō (“fasten, drive-in”).

  • We need to assess the impact of human resource management on the organization’s productivity.
  • The government needs the assess the impact of the recent increase in the crime rate in the country.
  • Jemima’s speech had an impact on all the listeners.

4. Touch

The word ‘touch’ originates from Old French tochier (“to touch”), Vulgar Latin *tuccō (“to knock, strike, offend”), and Frankish *tukkōn (“to knock, strike, touch”). ‘Touch’ is an act of interfering with or altering the natural order of something.

  • The economic reform will touch the country’s output negatively.
  • Please don’t touch the figures of the budget.

5. Disturb

‘Disturb’ originates from Anglo-Norman distourber, Old French destorber, and Latin disturbare. Disturb means to interfere with the normal functioning of something or alter the attributes of an entity.

  • Come back later, don’t disturb me while I am working.
  • Please do not disturb Henry; he is trying to find a solution to his problem.

Antonyms for Affect — Exploring Words with Opposite Meanings

1. Avoid

Avoid originates from Anglo-Norman avoider, Old French esvuidier (“to empty”), and Latin vacuus. Avoid means “to keep away from or stop from doing something.”

  • The scientists wear masks to avoid inhaling toxic gases.
  • The learned individuals always avoid getting into arguments with other groups.

2. Repel

The word ‘repel’ was first attested in Middle English repellen, Old French repeller, Latin repellere (“to drive back”), and re- (“back”) + pellere (“to drive”). Repel means “to drive or force back or away.”

  • The military was ready to repel any attack.
  • In physics, like charges repel each other.

3. Shun

‘Shun’ originates from Middle English shǒnen (“decline to do, avoid, fear”), and Old English scunian. Shun means “to avoid, especially persistently.”

  • The women were advised to bear with, and shun the awful comments the security guard made about them.
  • Please shun her; she’s trouble.
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To Wrap Up

Affect means “to have an impact on something.” A synonym for affect is ‘influence.’ Other words with similar meanings are: alter, impact, touch and disturb. You can use the synonyms highlighted in this piece to make your writing more unique and intriguing. A thesaurus and dictionary offer more alternatives for the term.

Pam is an expert grammarian with years of experience teaching English, writing and ESL Grammar courses at the university level. She is enamored with all things language and fascinated with how we use words to shape our world.

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