\ ə-ˈmu̇r How to pronounce amour (audio) , ä-, a- \

Definition of amour

: a usually illicit love affair wrote of his amours in his memoirs also : lover

Synonyms for amour


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Examples of amour in a Sentence

memoirs devoted to accounts of his amours in her memoirs the diva candidly recalls her amours with some of opera's best-known tenors and baritones
Recent Examples on the Web Yet Sebastian, the new amour, is no paragon of virtue or charm. Richard Brod, The New Yorker, 10 Sep. 2021 The villa was the site of a number of high-profile Medici weddings, including that of Francesco de’ Medici, a grand duke of Tuscany, who married his long-time amour, Bianca Cappello, here; their romance was the talk of 16th-century Florence. Catherine Sabino, Forbes, 3 Oct. 2021 Williams compared his departure to being dumped by a longtime girlfriend, and in that regard, his new amour is like his ex's good friend. Dave Birkett, Detroit Free Press, 17 Sep. 2021 Your language of love is French: There really is something about amour and French food. Emily Deletter, The Enquirer, 10 Aug. 2021 Shy loner August falls head over heels for uber-cool commuter Jane—only to discover that her amour fou is actually trapped in the New York subway system, circa 1970. Emma Specter, Vogue, 7 July 2021 The big paintings theatricalize stages of adolescent amour—resisted seduction, furtive intimacy, triumphant union, and subsequent nostalgia—among young people at court who were given nothing to do in life except to dress up and to play at love. Peter Schjeldahl, The New Yorker, 8 Feb. 2021 But while the bucks and does of Cook and Lake Counties actively pursue one another to produce their own little Bambis, the amour can produce danger for motorists. Lisa Cisneros,, 31 Oct. 2019 Paris The capital of amour lives up to its name, at least for traveling ladies. Larry Bleiberg, USA TODAY, 19 Jan. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'amour.' 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 amour

14th century, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for amour

Middle English amour, amoure "affection, love between the sexes, spiritual love," borrowed from Anglo-French amur, amour, ameur (also continental Old French), going back to Latin amōr-, amor "affection, liking, love, sexual passion, illicit or homosexual passion," from am-, base of amāre "to have affection for, love, be in love, make love to" + -ōr-, -or, abstract noun suffix (going back to *-ōs) — more at amateur

Note: The regular outcome of Latin amor in modern French should be *ameur, not amour, and the discrepancy has been explained in a number of ways: as re-formation after the adjective amoureux "amorous"; as due to the influence of Anglo-French; as the outcome of -ō- in the dialect of medieval eastern Champagne, a significant courtly center; as a semantic split, ameur being restricted to the sense "rutting season of ungulates"; as due to the influence of ecclesiastical Latin. Probably the most popular hypothesis sees amour as a borrowing from Old Occitan, due to the influence of troubador verse. — Both the current modern meanings and the English pronunciation with stress on the second syllable are presumably due to reborrowing from French.

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Time Traveler for amour

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The first known use of amour was in the 14th century

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Last Updated

10 Nov 2021

Cite this Entry

“Amour.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 28 Nov. 2021.

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English Language Learners Definition of amour

: a sexual relationship : a love affair especially : a secret love affair

More from Merriam-Webster on amour

Britannica English: Translation of amour for Arabic Speakers


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