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 But to make that emotional leap, Lopez had a little help from a familiar voice, noted husband and Dunkin' aficionado Ben Affleck. Lester Fabian Brathwaite,, 24 May 2024 Art aficionados can take advantage of the free admission at the Institute of Contemporary Art and the Lowe Art Museum, as well as free entry at events like the South Miami Art Festival. Lauryn Jiles, Miami Herald, 21 May 2024 The brand shuttered in 1948 amid the country’s post-World War II challenges, but in 1990, the founder’s great-grandson, Walter Lange, revived the brand and put it back on the path to its coveted status today among watch aficionados. Laurie Brookins, The Hollywood Reporter, 11 May 2024 In his office just outside of the Maryland border, the art aficionado has a beautiful painting that hangs over his desk. Ascend Agency, Baltimore Sun, 1 Mar. 2024 See all Example Sentences for aficionado 

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 19 Jun. 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

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!