amateur

play
noun am·a·teur \ˈa-mə-(ˌ)tər, -ˌtu̇r, -ˌtyu̇r, -ˌchu̇r, -chər\

Definition of amateur

  1. 1 :  one who engages in a pursuit, study, science, or sport as a pastime rather than as a profession <She played soccer as an amateur before turning professional.> <a tournament that is open to both amateurs and professionals>

  2. 2 :  one lacking in experience and competence in an art or science <The people running that company are a bunch of amateurs.> <He's a mere amateur when it comes to cooking.>

  3. 3 :  devotee, admirer <I am a philologist or amateur of the language … — Phillip Howard>

amateur

adjective <an amateur athlete>

amateurish

play \ˌa-mə-ˈtər-ish, -ˈt(y)u̇r-, -ˈchu̇r-, -ˈchər-\ adjective

amateurishly

adverb

amateurishness

noun

amateurism

play \ˈa-mə-ˌtər-ˌi-zəm, -ˌt(y)u̇r-, -ˌchu̇r-, -ˌchər-; -ˌtə-ˌri-, -ˌchə-ˌri-\ noun

Origin and Etymology of amateur

French, from Latin amator lover, from amare to love


First Known Use: 1777

Synonym Discussion of amateur

amateur, dilettante, dabbler, tyro mean a person who follows a pursuit without attaining proficiency or professional status. amateur often applies to one practicing an art without mastery of its essentials <a painting obviously done by an amateur>; in sports it may also suggest not so much lack of skill but avoidance of direct remuneration <remained an amateur despite lucrative offers>. dilettante may apply to the lover of an art rather than its skilled practitioner but usually implies elegant trifling in the arts and an absence of serious commitment <had no patience for dilettantes>. dabbler suggests desultory habits of work and lack of persistence <a dabbler who started novels but never finished them>. tyro implies inexperience often combined with audacity with resulting crudeness or blundering <shows talent but is still a mere tyro>.


AMATEUR Defined for Kids

1

amateur

play
noun am·a·teur \ˈam-ə-ˌtər, -ˌchər\

Definition of amateur for Students

  1. 1 :  a person who takes part in sports or occupations for pleasure and not for pay

  2. 2 :  a person who takes part in something without having experience or skill in it

amateurish

\ˌam-ə-ˈtər-ish, -ˈchər-\ adjective <an amateurish actor>

History for amateur

The English word amateur came from a French word which in turn came from a Latin word that meant “lover.” In English, amateurs are so called because they do something for the love of doing it and not for pay.


2

amateur

play
adjective am·a·teur

Definition of amateur for Students

  1. :  not professional <amateur athletes>



Seen and Heard

What made you want to look up amateur? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

a leading champion of a cause

Get Word of the Day daily email!

WORD GAMES

Take a 3-minute break and test your skills!

  • fox-in-front-of-cabin-in-winter
  • The month of December comes from a Latin word that referred to which month of the year?
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

TAKE THE QUIZ
SCRABBLE® Sprint

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ