afi·​cio·​na·​do | \ ə-ˌfi-sh(ē-)ə-ˈnä-(ˌ)dō How to pronounce aficionado (audio) , -fē-, -sē-ə- \
variants: or less commonly
plural aficionados also afficionados

Definition of aficionado

: a person who likes, knows about, and appreciates a usually fervently pursued interest or activity : devotee aficionados of the bullfight movie aficionados

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The affection an aficionado has for his or her favorite subject isn't merely emotional-it's also etymological. Back in the early 1800s, English borrowed aficionado from the past participle of the Spanish verb aficionar, which means "to inspire affection." That verb comes from the Spanish noun afición, meaning "affection." Both Spanish words trace to the Latin affectio (which is also an ancestor of the English word affection). Affectio, in turn, is from afficere ("to influence") and gave English speakers the noun and verbs affect.

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
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Recent Examples on the Web While Smith’s character on the HBO Max show is a fashion aficionado, the actress is actually a newbie to the sartorial world. Vogue, 10 Sep. 2021 Italian auteur Mario Martone is a Venice aficionado. Nick Vivarelli, Variety, 9 Sep. 2021 The multidisciplinary performance artist presents his personal experience growing up in the Conjunto music scene and his relationship with his grandfather, a Conjunto music aficionado. Tania Navarro, San Diego Union-Tribune, 27 Aug. 2021 Perelman is the subject of an expansive and essential new anthology, published by Library of America and edited by New Yorker writer and Perelman aficionado Adam Gopnik. Washington Post, 25 Aug. 2021 Amell is a wrestling aficionado in real life, and Heels captures the humor and scrappy showmanship of sports entertainment. Kristen Baldwin,, 4 Aug. 2021 The snapshot was captured in Norfolk by the duchess herself, a photography aficionado who takes all her children's official birthday pictures. Erica Gonzales, Harper's BAZAAR, 22 July 2021 Each year’s spirit judging brings new brands and producers for the Tequila aficionado to explore. Salud! Joseph V Micallef, Forbes, 30 June 2021 Where else would competitive eater and hot dog aficionado Joey Chestnut want to celebrate National Hot Dog Day other than Cincinnati? Emily Deletter, The Enquirer, 15 July 2021

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'aficionado.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of aficionado

1819, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for aficionado

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

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The first known use of aficionado was in 1819

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Last Updated

19 Sep 2021

Cite this Entry

“Aficionado.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 25 Sep. 2021.

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More from Merriam-Webster on aficionado

Britannica English: Translation of aficionado for Arabic Speakers


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