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?

The affection an aficionado has for their 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 affectiō (which is also an ancestor of the English word affection). Affectiō, in turn, is from afficere ("to influence") and gave English speakers the noun and verb affect.

Example Sentences

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 Perhaps someone who is a real fútbol aficionado will remember at which game this happened. Fidel Martinez, Los Angeles Times, 18 Nov. 2022 This coffeemaker is an obvious choice if your best man is a coffee aficionado. Mark Stock, Men's Health, 16 Nov. 2022 One December his father, who was also a music aficionado, brought an electric guitar home. Jessica Roiz, Billboard, 27 Oct. 2022 Each week, comedian and horror movie aficionado Halle Kiefer describes the entire plot of a scary movie to her frightened friend and co-host, writer Alison Leiby. Eliana Dockterman, Time, 14 Nov. 2022 In 2003, commercial pilot and World War II history aficionado Mark Noah founded History Flight. Mike Valerio, CNN, 11 Nov. 2022 No theater aficionado should go without reading this biography of the late stage legend Elaine Stritch, who proved time and time again that great performances don't always end when the curtain goes down. Adam Rathe, Town & Country, 10 Nov. 2022 For sneaker aficionado Manuel Cruz, shoes have always been much more than something to wear. Daniel Miller, Los Angeles Times, 26 Oct. 2022 Rachel Center, lifelong aficionado of all things home and a product reviews home writer at Dotdash Meredith, spent weeks researching all the components that make a great electric fireplace. Rachel Center, Better Homes & Gardens, 19 Oct. 2022 See More

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.

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 6 Dec. 2022.

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

More from Merriam-Webster on aficionado

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!

Challenging Words You Should Know

  • hedgehog reading a book
  • Often used to describe “the march of time,” what does inexorable mean?
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.

Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.