The word affectation is defined by Merriam-Webster as:

a :speech or conduct not natural to oneself :an unnatural form of behavior meant especially to impress others

His French accent is just an affectation.

b :the act of taking on or displaying an attitude or mode of behavior not natural to oneself or not genuinely felt

speaking honestly without affectation

mocked his piety as affectation

Yet the phrase 'affectation status' is often used in a scientific context, eg

Affectation status and genotypes for the c.1190G>T mutation are indicated [in the pedigree].


Is this incorrect? I haven't found any indication of affectation having this meaning, despite the common use of 'affectation status' in human genetics.

  • 1
    Scientists routinely can and do adopt generic words to have specific technical meanings, within the jargon of a specific discipline. They don't need anyone's permission, simply the acceptance of their peers.
    – Hot Licks
    Sep 27, 2017 at 21:56
  • Dictionaries tend to focus on the commoner, more everyday usages of terms. You should check this phrase/compound on a science website or in a scientific dictionary. Sep 27, 2017 at 21:57

1 Answer 1


2 archaic The action or process of affecting or being affected. 2.1 [count noun] A condition or disease. 'an affection of the skin' ODO

So "affection status" can mean someone who is affected (or not) by the condition or disease under study. Echoing @HotLicks, it appears to be common usage in some technical circles.

Here is another example.

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