dilettante

play
noun dil·et·tante \ˈdi-lə-ˌtänt, -ˌtant; ˌdi-lə-ˈ\

Definition of dilettante

plural

dilettantes

or

dilettanti

play \-ˈtän-tē, -ˈtan-tē\
  1. 1 :  an admirer or lover of the arts

  2. 2 :  a person having a superficial interest in an art or a branch of knowledge :  dabbler

dilettante

adjective

dilettantish

play \-ˌtän-tish, -ˌtan-, ˌdi-lə-ˈ\ adjective

dilettantism

play play \-ˌtän-ˌti-zəm, -ˌtan-, ˌdi-lə-ˈ\ noun

Examples of dilettante in a Sentence

  1. I recently spent a week in Alaska trying to learn how to be a mountaineer. I did not succeed very well, and the details are not very interesting. I finished the course (I was enrolled in a course) thinking that perhaps I am better off remaining a slightly-above-average mountain dilettante. An occasional rock climber. —Jason Lee Steorts, National Review, 18 Aug. 2008

  2. Being a powerhouse herself in ways that make today's feminist superwomen look like dilettantes, she inevitably clashed with star directors like Maurice Tourneur and Ernst Lubitsch. —Molly Haskell, New York Times Book Review, 6 June 1999

  3. Most of the articles published in Naval History reflect time-consuming research and investigation. The efforts are not the work of dilettantes, but of professional and semiprofessional historians. —Michael M. Bergfeld, Naval History, July/August 1997

  4. You can always tell a true expert from a dilettante.

  5. she writes about art not from the point of view of an artist but from that of a committed dilettante

Recent Examples of dilettante from the Web

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'dilettante'. Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

Origin and Etymology of dilettante

Italian, from present participle of dilettare to delight, from Latin dilectare — more at delight

Synonym Discussion of dilettante

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

Other Fine Arts Terms


DILETTANTE Defined for English Language Learners

dilettante

play
noun

Definition of dilettante for English Language Learners

  • : a person whose interest in an art or in an area of knowledge is not very deep or serious



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lacking social experience or grace

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