afi·​cio·​na·​do ə-ˌfi-sh(ē-)ə-ˈnä-(ˌ)dō How to pronounce aficionado (audio)
variants or less commonly afficionado
plural aficionados also afficionados
: a person who likes, knows about, and appreciates a usually fervently pursued interest or activity : devotee
aficionados of the bullfight
movie aficionados

Did you know?

Before there were nerds, geeks, stans, fanboys, or fangirls, there were aficionados. But not long before, relatively speaking. English borrowed aficionado in the early 1800s directly from Spanish, making a noun out of the past participle of the Spanish verb aficionar, which means "to inspire affection." Nerd, geek, and the rest can sometimes imply that the devotee in question is overdoing their ardor, but aficionado (which traces further back to the same Latin ancestor that gave us the English word affection) is a more neutral descriptor for someone with an abiding and thoughtful devotion to an interest or activity.

Examples of aficionado in a Sentence

Such are the issues that spark hot debate among pizza chefs and aficionados. I recently visited some of the most dedicated pizza makers in the United States to have them demonstrate what makes their pizza special. Harvey Steiman, Wine Spectator, 30 June 2008
The quality varies with the individual authors, but both history buffs and aficionados of literary criticism will find food for thought here. Publishers Weekly, 8 Jan. 2001
When film aficionados speak of film noir, they usually refer to the look and attitude of certain films. As critics have found, such films do not form a genre; at best, they suggest a movement. Bonnie Smothers, Booklist, 15 Nov. 1999
Beyond scuba diving, North Carolina's Crystal Coast and Cape Lookout are famous for fishing. Although I'm not an aficionado myself, prospective anglers need only walk the docks of Moorehead City to book inshore or Gulf Stream excursions … James Sturz, New York Times, 26 Apr. 1998
an aficionado of the sci-fi series who has seen all the movies several times
Recent Examples on the Web Shows like The Gilded Age and The Forsyte Saga and a love for all things vintage have reintroduced the late 19th and early 20th-century sensibility to younger interior designers and home decor aficionados. Sharon Greenthal, Better Homes & Gardens, 28 Mar. 2024 While Stevens wouldn't call himself an aficionado of Godzilla or Kong lore, he has been drawn to it since childhood. Simon Thompson, Forbes, 27 Mar. 2024 Kravitz has been a long-time aficionado of aviator shaped frames, so this collaboration feels serendipitous. Kerane Marcellus, Essence, 19 Mar. 2024 In a week now known as Miami Art Week, celebrities, art aficionados, or those simply looking to party will find satellite fairs, glitzy events, and exclusive parties happening all over Miami. Jessica Poitevien, Travel + Leisure, 4 Mar. 2024 As whisky fans, collectors, and aficionados discovered there were still barrels of Port Ellen whisky hidden away in warehouses around Scotland, the liquid gained in popularity—and increased in price. Jonah Flicker, Robb Report, 19 Mar. 2024 Jim Gaffigan on being a bourbon aficionado In: Los Angeles Taylor Swift California Nicole Brown Chau Nicole Brown Chau is a senior push and platform editor on CBS News' Growth and Engagement team. Nicole Brown Chau, CBS News, 18 Mar. 2024 The article purports that pie aficionados would be willing to travel, on average, 2 hours and 16 minutes to try this mysterious pie. The Arizona Republic, 12 Mar. 2024 She’s also become somewhat of a TikTok aficionado, and is open about her love for the platform. Leah Lu, Rolling Stone, 6 Mar. 2024

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'aficionado.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


borrowed from Spanish aficionado, from past participle of aficionar "to inspire devotion or affection in," verbal derivative of afición "liking, interest," going back to earlier afeción, afección, borrowed from Latin affectiōn-, affectiō "feeling, feeling of attachment" — more at affection

First Known Use

1819, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of aficionado was in 1819


Dictionary Entries Near aficionado

Cite this Entry

“Aficionado.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 12 Apr. 2024.

Kids Definition


afi·​cio·​na·​do ə-ˌfish-(ē-)ə-ˈnäd-ō How to pronounce aficionado (audio)
plural aficionados
: a person who really likes and appreciates something
an aficionado of Mexican food
science fiction aficionados

Spanish, derived from Latin affectio "affection"

More from Merriam-Webster on aficionado

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