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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

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?
See also: affair, of, pretty, state

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.
See also: sad, state

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.
See also: sorry, state

emotional affair

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.
See also: affair, emotional

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

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!
See also: affair, have

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

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

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.
See also: affair, settle

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

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.
See also: affair, men, of, there, tide
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

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
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

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
The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer. Copyright © 2003, 1997 by The Christine Ammer 1992 Trust. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

a state of afˈfairs

general situation or circumstances: We know little about the present state of affairs in China.
See also: affair, of, state
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017

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.
See also: of, sad, state
The Dictionary of Clichés by Christine Ammer Copyright © 2013 by Christine Ammer
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References in periodicals archive ?
Il a explique que le ministre allemand des Affaires etrangeres s'entretiendra avec des responsables soudanais sur les moyens de renforcer les relations bilaterales et de progresser a plus long terme.
Sur le total de ces affaires traitees, 9.725 sont liees au trafic illicite de drogue, 29.748 autres affaires relatives a la detention et a l'usage de drogue et 31 affaires liees a la culture de drogues, conclut la meme source.
De son cote, Dr Obeid Allah s'est felicite de la visite du ministre italien des Affaires etrangeres au Soudan, affirmant que le Soudan accorde une attention particuliere a l'echange des avantages commerciaux et economiques, et le soutien politique entre le Soudan et l'Italie dans les forums internationaux et la cooperation des relations bilateraux entre les deux pays.
Munir Mohammed Dabwan as assistant undersecretary for Hajj and Umra organization and accounts affaires.
17-18 Conseil Affaires Generales,Relations exterieures,Defense (Bruxelles)
The Spanish River Trading Post -- Prix de reussite en affaires
Its other business and personal finance magazines include Le Journal Les Affaires, Affaires Plus, Commerce, PHE and Le Journal Economique du Quebec.
Les juridictions comptentes vont consacrer le principe du double degr de juridiction dans les affaires criminelles.
C ontrairement aux attentes et en depit de la basse dynamique des tribunaux du royaume, que nombre de juges marocains ont signale lors de la derniere conference donnee par les membres de l'Observatoire national de l'independance de la magistrature en cooperation avec le Club des magistrats du Maroc, les resultats des statistiques officiels de la direction des etudes, de la cooperation et de la modernisation affichent une hausse [beaucoup moins que]satisfaisante[beaucoup plus grand que] du taux des affaires jugees durant l'annee 2014 s'elevant a 76%.
Djeddah, 20 Juin (SUNA) - Le ministre des Affaires etrangeres Ali Karti a rencontre jeudi a Djeddah le ministre des Affaires etrangeres du Qatar M.
Imed Deghij le chef des Hommes de la Revolution du Kram , est implique dans quatre affaires distinctes, mais le mandat de depot ne concerne qu'une seule affaire en rapport avec ses menaces proferees publiquement contre les forces de securite et il comparaitra, en etat d'arrestation, devant le tribunal , jeudi 13 mars.
Casablanca - Le climat des affaires au Maroc contribue a la promotion de l'investissement etranger dans toutes les regions du Royaume, a souligne, jeudi soir a Casablanca, le ministre delegue charge des Affaires generales et de la gouvernance, Mohamed Najib Boulif.