noun \ˈdi-lə-ˌtänt, -ˌtant; ˌdi-lə-ˈ\

: a person whose interest in an art or in an area of knowledge is not very deep or serious

plural dil·et·tantes or dil·et·tan·ti \-ˈtän-tē, -ˈtan-tē\

Full Definition of DILETTANTE

:  an admirer or lover of the arts
:  a person having a superficial interest in an art or a branch of knowledge :  dabbler
dilettante adjective
dil·et·tant·ish \-ˌtän-tish, -ˌtan-, ˌdi-lə-ˈ\ adjective
dil·et·tan·tism \-ˌtän-ˌti-zəm, -ˌtan-, ˌdi-lə-ˈ\ noun

Examples of DILETTANTE

  1. You can always tell a true expert from a dilettante.
  2. <she writes about art not from the point of view of an artist but from that of a committed dilettante>
  3. I recently spent a week in Alaska trying to learn how to be a mountaineer. I did not succeed very well, and the details are not very interesting. I finished the course (I was enrolled in a course) thinking that perhaps I am better off remaining a slightly-above-average mountain dilettante. An occasional rock climber. —Jason Lee Steorts, National Review, 18 Aug. 2008


Italian, from present participle of dilettare to delight, from Latin dilectare — more at delight
First Known Use: 1748

Other Fine Arts Terms

Gothic, baroque, bas-relief, limn, oeuvre, pastiche, rococo, sfumato


Next Word in the Dictionary: dilettantist
Previous Word in the Dictionary: Dilepididae
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