The dictionary calls affection "a gentle feeling of fondness or liking". Wikipedia says:

Affection is popularly used to denote a feeling or type of love, amounting to more than goodwill or friendship.

When looking up words for affection on the Korean dictionary, those are what I found, but they all seem to have some slightly different nuance.

정 attachment

다정 kindness, sweetness

인정 empathy

애정 (loving) affection

Does any of them fit the above definition of affection? Or is there perhaps a less loaded word to simply describe the "warm and fuzzy" feeling of closeness to other people, without necessarily amounting to love?

An example sentence would be: "We seem to like each other a lot, but he didn't show me any affection."

3 Answers 3


호감 would be a good choice for your example. Although I have found 애착 is used in a dictionary, I think 애착 is more of obsession or attachment.

"We seem to like each other a lot, but he didn't show me any affection."

That may be translated as "저도 걔를 무척 좋아하고 걔도 저를 많이 좋아하는 것 같은데 걔는 제게 호감을 (전혀) 표현하지 않았어요."


Technically, 호감 (a good feeling towards someone or something) does not mean interest (the state of wanting to know or learn about something or someone), because the antonym of 호감 (= 호감정) is 악감 (= 악감정) (dislike or hostility towards someone or something). It is just that you want to know a stranger or a friend when you have good feelings about her or him. Even between a couple, there can be 호감 and 악감 towards each other. I wish no one would restrict the usage of a word that has the standard meaning.

  • I forgot this word : I think this one is better.
    – LegenDUST
    May 28, 2019 at 12:00

Best way to express if two lovers are affectionate, you’d say 애정어린.

애정어린 말투 -> spoken with affection

애정어린 눈빛 -> Affectionate look

호감 wouldn’t be a good fit because it means interest. If you just met someone you would use 호감 to express interest. You wouldn’t use 호감 between two lovers.


More than friendship and less than '애정'(loving affection)... I don't think there is a single word to describe it in dictionary.

But, there is slang, or newly-coined word (신조어) to describe it. Maybe expression '썸' would fit.

It is widely used slang, but it is spoken Korean, so don't use it in official paper or whatever.

Word '썸' came from English word 'Something', and used in situation like 'There is something between us.'

In definition of Naver open dictionary, 'push and pull' in Kor-Eng dict, and 'subtle relationship before fall in love' in Kor-Kor dict.

In defination of Namu wiki, it is 'between friendship and love', or '"내꺼인듯 내꺼아닌 내꺼같은" state'(from song '썸')

Use like this : '걔네 둘이 썸타는 것 같던데'(I think there is something between them.)

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