Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Medical, Legal, Wikipedia.
Related to affair: dictionary
Like this video? Subscribe to our free daily email and get a new idiom video every day!

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

state of affairs

A current situation or set of conditions. It's been a sad state of affairs around here since our grandma got sick. I'd like to start this meeting by going over the company's financial state of affairs.
See also: affair, of, state

love affair

1. A very passionate romantic or sexual relationship, especially one that is temporary. Several years after the death of her husband, Janet reconnected with a man with whom she'd had an intimate love affair in their youth and had never stopped thinking about. Pretty much every teenager thinks their real first relationship is the greatest and most important love affair of their life.
2. An intense passion or enthusiasm (for something). Almost always followed by "with (something)." The accident ended my brief love affair with motorcycles. This generation's love affair with mobile devices is going to be the downfall of modern society.
See also: affair, love

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, there, tide

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

a state of afˈfairs

general situation or circumstances: We know little about the present state of affairs in China.
See also: affair, of, state
References in classic literature ?
He will, I imagine, be extremely startled to find his connection with this affair, whatever it may be, brought home to him so quickly.
This joyousness and dispersion of thought before a task of some importance seems to prove that this world of ours is not such a very serious affair after all.
Author Peter Lefcourt's 1992 gay baseball romance, The Dreyfus Affair, is still selling like hotcakes.
A female warrant officer who said she felt "pestered" into having an affair with a major admitted yesterday having affairs with three other officers, including a lesbian relationship.
But when that openness backfired and the media turned the whole affair into a Kaiser-only story, we had to draw the line.
The two stars, each married to someone else at the time, began a much-publicized affair during the shoot.
I AM afraid that Paul Linford was being disingenuous last Saturday (The Journal, February 2) in his comments on the Conway affair.
The board member stepped out and received her "message"--that her husband and a top executive named Susan Albano were having an affair.
Yet he chose not to take Pick 'n Pay to the mat, saying that the whole plastic bag affair had created massive environmental awareness-raising in this country in a very short space of time.
Foreign Affairs en Espanol steps out onto the stage of ideas at an historic moment.
Henoch provides leadership in several areas, including medical staff affairs, clinical quality initiatives, care management, risk management, medical education, health information and health system accreditation.
The addition of GoverNet Affairs adds significant potential sources of revenue, new clients and additional legal research services to the existing clients.
From an American perspective, the reasons are simple: this Canadian renegade, then the Minister for External Affairs, resisted allowing the ferocious and destructive U.
Faced with problems such as rising tuition, sports scandals, racial tension, sexual harassment, campus crime and drug and alcohol abuse, public affairs officers for colleges and universities face an array of challenges -- sometimes overlapping and conflicting -- in their roles as publicists, media liaison, crisis communicators, internal counselors, publications managers and image-builders.
CAE, serves as the chief executive officer and is responsible to the board of directors for the effective conduct of the affairs of the association.