ə-ˈmu̇r How to pronounce amour (audio)
: a usually illicit love affair
wrote of his amours in his memoirs
also : lover

Example Sentences

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 While not exactly a salutation to schadenfreude, perhaps there’s more to learn from the failing amour fou of others than celebrating the saccharine slander of forced fallacies. Nicholas Bell, SPIN, 14 Feb. 2023 Their relationship is an ‘amour fou,’ a crazy love between two outsiders from different worlds. Leo Barraclough, Variety, 10 Feb. 2023 There's amour fou, and then there is Katia and Maurice Krafft, a pair of married French volcanologists whose passionate union was forged at the molten center of some of the 20th century's most notorious eruptions. Leah Greenblatt,, 5 Dec. 2022 He’s just gotten to the top of a ladder and is about to hop over the balustrade to join his amour. Jerry Saltz, Vulture, 18 Mar. 2021 And while you might be getting pumped (and primped: hello, little black dress) for a romantic night out with your main squeeze, there’s another kind of amour that deserves recognition: girlfriend love. Rachel Silva, ELLE Decor, 11 Jan. 2023 Speaking to Snobiety, Eilish, 20, was a bit more circumspect about her love life, avoiding mentioning her 31-year-old partner while speaking in more general terms about the head-spinning concept of amour. Gil Kaufman, Billboard, 1 Dec. 2022 Apart from The Servant, Grandage suggested the trio watch the 1959 classic Hiroshima mon amour from French director Alain Resnais, as well as Nicolas Roeg's 1973 romantic mystery Don't Look Now. Nick Romano,, 3 Oct. 2022 On one level this is a tale about an amour fou with a dress. Laird Borrelli-persson, Vogue, 11 July 2022 See More

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.

Word History


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.

First Known Use

14th century, in the meaning defined above

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

Cite this Entry

“Amour.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 25 Mar. 2023.

Kids Definition


: a love affair
especially : a secret love affair

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