affair


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a fine state of affairs

A situation that has gone wrong and is very problematic. The term is an instance of irony or sarcasm. Well, this is a fine state of affairs we're in now. The client doesn't like the job we've done, and they want it fixed in less than a week.
See also: affair, fine, of, state

gala affair

A grand, lively, and festive social event. The company pulled out all the stops for the CEO's retirement party, turning the event into a gala affair.
See also: affair

put (one's) affairs in order

To organize one's financial and legal arrangements, especially in preparation for death. The doctors told me I likely had six months to live, so I need to start putting my affairs in order now. My father never put his affairs in order, and now, my brothers and I are embroiled in lawsuits over his estate.
See also: affair, order, put

a sorry state (of affairs)

A particularly unfortunate, unpleasant, and/or upsetting situation or set of circumstances. Their company has been in a sorry state ever since Jonathan took over. It's a sorry state of affairs when you can no longer be sure how you'll feed your children each night.
See also: sorry, state

a sad state (of affairs)

A particularly unfortunate, unpleasant, and/or upsetting situation or set of circumstances. Their company has been in a sad state after Jonathan took over. It's a sad state of affairs when you can no longer be sure how you're going to feed your children each night.
See also: sad, state

have an affair (with someone)

to have a love affair with someone. When I was 20, I had an affair with a rock star, and really made a fool of myself.
See also: affair, have

pretty state of affairs

 and fine state of affairs
an unpleasant state of affairs. This is a pretty state of affairs, and it's all your fault. What a fine state of affairs you've got us into.
See also: affair, of, pretty, state

settle someone's affairs

to deal with one's business matters; to manage the business affairs of someone who can't. When my uncle died, I had to settle his affairs. I have to settle my affairs before going to Mexico for a year.
See also: affair, settle

There is a tide in the affairs of men.

Prov. If you have a favorable opportunity to do something, do it, or you will lose your chance. (From Shakespeare's play, Julius Caesar.) I think that this is the best possible time to start our own business. We shouldn't hesitate. There is a tide in the affairs of men.
See also: affair, men, of, tide

a sad state of affairs

(spoken) also a sorry state of affairs
a bad situation that you find upsetting It's a sad state of affairs when schools don't provide a basic education for their students.
Usage notes: sometimes used in the form a sad state: Things have reached a sad state when you have to pay a bribe to get something done.
See also: affair, of, sad, state

love affair

1. An intimate sexual relationship, as in They had a torrid love affair many years ago. This expression dates from about 1600, when it referred merely to the experiences connected with being in love. The current sense dates from the second half of the 1800s.
2. A strong enthusiasm, as in We can't ignore America's love affair with the automobile. [Mid-1900s]
See also: affair, love
References in classic literature ?
In some months of the year, however, there often chances a forenoon when affairs move onward with a livelier tread.
The marriage is not yet a settled affair, for they are awaiting news from Russia.
A family affair," said Mazarin, suddenly, detaining them in their seats.
The adjutant told them that the affair was likely to take a very bad turn: that a court-martial had been appointed, and that in view of the severity with which marauding and insubordination were now regarded, degradation to the ranks would be the best that could be hoped for.
It was no affair of theirs that the enigmatical white men should be out trying to kill each other, and whatever interest in the proceedings might be theirs they were careful to conceal it from Sheldon.
You have never yet given her advice in an affair of this kind," said Nightingale; "for I am greatly mistaken in my cousin, if she would be very ready to obey even your most positive commands in abandoning her inclinations.
it was fortunate for me that Monsieur Stangerson was in the laboratory when the affair took place and had seen with his own eyes that I was there with him; for otherwise, with this business of my revolver, I don't know where we should have been,--I should now be under lock and bar.
Vronsky had put his name down, bought a thoroughbred English mare, and in spite of his love affair, he was looking forward to the races with intense, though reserved, excitement.
While he was speaking the hands on the face of the clock behind the great man's back - a heavy, glistening affair of massive scrolls in the same dark marble as the mantelpiece, and with a ghostly, evanescent tick - had moved through the space of seven minutes.
It appears to me, that, under my humble roof, there's hardly opening enough for a lady of your genius in other people's affairs.
Then I did the same for Herbert (who modestly said he had not my administrative genius), and felt that I had brought his affairs into a focus for him.
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.
From the latter he is defended by being well armed and having good allies, and if he is well armed he will have good friends, and affairs will always remain quiet within when they are quiet without, unless they should have been already disturbed by conspiracy; and even should affairs outside be disturbed, if he has carried out his preparations and has lived as I have said, as long as he does not despair, he will resist every attack, as I said Nabis the Spartan did.
You and I are well enough acquainted with each other, and one's own affairs are one's own affairs.
First, the revealing of affairs, whereby they become less secret.