par·​amour | \ ˈper-ə-ˌmu̇r, ˈpa-rə-\

Definition of paramour

: lover specifically : an illicit or secret lover a married man and his paramour Her account put him in the position of looking like the duped lover believing the cheating married paramour's protestation of love … — Bettina Drew

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Did You Know?

Paramour came to English from French (a language based on Latin), though the modern French don't use the word. Since par amour meant "through love", it implies a relationship based solely on love, often physical love, rather than on social custom or ceremony. So today it tends to refer to the lover of a married man or woman, but may be used for any lover who isn't obeying the social rules.

Examples of paramour in a Sentence

And faster than you can say "You've got mail!" he fell hard for his unseen paramour. — Kipp Cheng, Entertainment Weekly, 23 Oct. 1998 His Vietnamese paramour was a young woman of remarkable beauty. — Neil Sheehan, A Bright Shining Lie, 1988 As the vessel made sail immediately, and landed no part of their cargo, there seemed little doubt that they were accomplices of the notorious Robertson, and that the vessel had only come into the firth to carry off his paramour. — Walter Scott, The Heart of Midlothian, 1818
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Recent Examples on the Web

Kendall, what does this tell you about the paramour's involvement with the media in setting a narrative against Trump and his associates? Fox News, "Woman who knew Kavanaugh in high school speaks out," 14 Sep. 2018 Most of the headlines imply that Mr. Strzok was let go solely because of his inflammatory text messages with FBI colleague and paramour Lisa Page. The Editorial Board, WSJ, "Strzok and Consequences," 14 Aug. 2018 His paramour would allegedly log into the account and read the drafts. Max Colchester And Margot Patrick, WSJ, "Hiding Russian Money Was Easy. Quitting Was Harder.," 4 Aug. 2018 While some videos show the couple acting surprised that their paramour is suddenly recording, Chicklet has admitted that some videos are re-creations of real moments. Patricia Hernandez, The Verge, "When this Instagram couple has vicious fights, millions of people tune in," 31 Aug. 2018 But what would happen if, instead of your crushes living out their inevitably short-lived life cycle, all of your would-be paramours discovered your infatuation?, "Netflix Just Announced Another Teen Rom-Com — & It May Be Its Best Yet," 21 June 2018 That exoneration, that change in language, actually appears to be the insurance policy that Peter Strzok was talking about with Lisa Page, his paramour, in those text messages. Fox News, "Questions remain after Wray and Horowitz testify," 19 June 2018 Potomac Watch Podcast Potomac Watch Podcast One initial batch of documents contained an Oct. 11, 2016 text message from FBI official Peter Strzok to his FBI paramour Lisa Page. The Editorial Board, WSJ, "The FBI’s Document Blackouts," 13 June 2018 When the paramours earn their living by faking emotion, getting down to the real deal can take some time. Sarah Dunn, New York Times, "Two Novels on the Complexities of Revisiting Past Loves," 1 June 2018

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

14th century, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for paramour

Middle English, from par amour for the sake of love, willingly, from Anglo-French par amur

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Statistics for paramour

Last Updated

10 Jan 2019

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Time Traveler for paramour

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

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More Definitions for paramour



English Language Learners Definition of paramour

: a person with whom someone is having a romantic or sexual relationship and especially a secret or improper relationship

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More from Merriam-Webster on paramour

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with paramour

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for paramour

Nglish: Translation of paramour for Spanish Speakers

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