Definition of amateur
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 : 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.
amateuradjective an amateur athlete
amateurishplay \ˌa-mə-ˈtər-ish, -ˈt(y)u̇r-, -ˈchu̇r-, -ˈchər-\ adjective
amateurismplay \ˈa-mə-ˌtər-ˌi-zəm, -ˌt(y)u̇r-, -ˌchu̇r-, -ˌchər-; -ˌtə-ˌri-, -ˌchə-ˌri-\ noun
Recent Examples of amateur from the Web
As Marquis has added a junior competition and included an additional symphony round in the amateur competition in 2016, the Cliburn’s budget has grown by 50 percent.
So why would the amateur investigator Lord Peter Wimsey and his mystery author bride Harriet Vane assume their country honeymoon in Hertfordshire would be carefree, and corpse-free?
Former Cubs pitcher Sean Marshall and Zach Zielinski, son of late Cubs scout Stan Zielinski, will represent the team at the June 12 amateur draft.
The low amateur was Mia Landegren of Bridewater (77-70 — 147).
Missing out was Welsh amateur David Boote, who opened with a 62 on the New Course.
At second, Javier Baez marked the beginning of one of the best amateur-nabbing runs in the game.
Nostalgia—generally defined as a sentimental longing for bygone times—underwent a particularly significant metamorphosis in 1888, when Kodak released the first commercially successful camera for amateurs.
Mr. Hassabis has said that top amateur Go players, with the help of AlphaGo, can generally manage to beat the software program in a match.
These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'amateur'. Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.
Should amateur only be used literally?
The earliest sense of amateur ("one that has a marked fondness, liking, or taste") is strongly connected to its roots: the word came into English from the French amateur, which in turn comes from the Latin word for “lover” (amator). This has led some people to assume that the word is properly used only in the sense “one who performs something for love rather than for money.” However, as is the case with so many other English words, amateur may mean two strikingly different things, referring to one who does something for the love of it and also to one who is not terribly competent at something.
Our earliest record of the word's literal sense comes from a 1777 source. By 1790, however, it was already being used in the somewhat condescending extended sense, as seen in George Rous’s description of Edmund Burke as “a bystander, a mere amateur of aristocracy” in his Thoughts on Government.
Origin and Etymology of amateur
French, from Latin amator lover, from amare to love
First Known Use: 1777
Synonym Discussion of amateur
AMATEUR Defined for Kids
Definition of amateur for Students
1 : a person who takes part in sports or occupations for pleasure and not for pay
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.
Definition of amateur for Students
: not professional amateur athletes
Seen and Heard
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