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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.
a pretty state of affairs
A situation that has gone wrong and is very problematic or unpleasant. (The use of "pretty" is ironic.) Well, this is a pretty 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. And now the police have gotten involved—this sure turned into a pretty state of affairs, didn't it?
a sad state (of affairs)
A particularly unfortunate, unpleasant, 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.
a sorry state (of affairs)
A particularly unfortunate, unpleasant, 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.
An affair in which two people who are attracted to each other (and at least one of whom is in a committed romantic relationship with someone else) engage in a relationship that is emotionally intimate but not sexually or physically intimate. My husband spends so much time with his best friend from work that I'm worried he's having an emotional affair with her.
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
have an affair (with someone)
To engage in a secret sexual relationship despite one or both participants simultaneously being married to or otherwise in committed relationships with other people. Did you hear that Rachel had an affair? Her husband is just devastated. Cliché though it is, yes, my husband had an affair with his secretary. I can't believe you're having an affair with a married man!
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.
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.
settle (one's) affairs
To deal with one's outstanding business or financial affairs. After we declared a voluntary liquidation, a third-party liquidator will come in and settle our affairs for us. You'll need to settle your affairs before you can apply for a mortgage.
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.
there is a tide in the affairs of men
The opportunities one may avail of will rise up and then recede like the tides of the ocean. We have the chance to make a real difference here, but there is a tide in the affairs of men—if we don't act right now, we may never have the opportunity again. There is a tide in the affairs of men, after all, and I believe the senator's time may now be behind him.
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.
pretty state of affairsand 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.
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.
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.
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]
a state of afˈfairsgeneral situation or circumstances: We know little about the present state of affairs in China.
sad state of affairs, a
An unhappy condition, unfortunate circumstances. The use of state of affairs to describe events or circumstances originated as the more ambiguous state of things, which was first recorded in 1555. Affairs began to be used about two centuries later. R. L. Green played on it in The Land of Lord High Tiger: “Sad affairs of State! Sad state of affairs! Affairs of a sad state.” It is sometimes put as sorry state of affairs.