noun (1)
ro·​mance | \ rō-ˈman(t)s How to pronounce romance (audio) , rə-; ˈrō-ˌman(t)s \

Definition of romance

 (Entry 1 of 4)

1a(1) : a medieval tale based on legend, chivalric love and adventure, or the supernatural
(2) : a prose narrative treating imaginary characters involved in events remote in time or place and usually heroic, adventurous, or mysterious
(3) : a love story especially in the form of a novel
b : a class of such literature
2 : something (such as an extravagant story or account) that lacks basis in fact
3 : an emotional attraction or aura belonging to an especially heroic era, adventure, or activity
5 capitalized : the Romance languages


romanced; romancing

Definition of romance (Entry 2 of 4)

intransitive verb

1 : to exaggerate or invent detail or incident
2 : to entertain romantic thoughts or ideas

transitive verb

1 : to try to influence or curry favor with especially by lavishing personal attention, gifts, or flattery
2 : to carry on a love affair with


noun (2)

Definition of romance (Entry 3 of 4)

: a short instrumental piece in ballad style


Ro·​mance | \ rō-ˈman(t)s How to pronounce Romance (audio) , rə-; ˈrō-ˌman(t)s \

Definition of Romance (Entry 4 of 4)

: of, relating to, or being any of the languages developed from Latin (such as Italian, French, and Spanish)

Synonyms for romance

Synonyms: Noun (1)

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Examples of romance in a Sentence

Verb He was always romancing younger women. She was romanced by several wealthy young men. The museum's director spends a lot of time romancing potential donors. a college athlete who's being romanced by several pro teams They were romancing about the past.

First Known Use of romance

Noun (1)

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a(1)


1653, in the meaning defined at intransitive sense 1

Noun (2)

circa 1854, in the meaning defined above


15th century, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for romance

Noun (1)

Middle English romauns, from Anglo-French romanz French, narrative in French, from Medieval Latin Romanice in a vernacular (as opposed to Latin), from Late Latin Romanus Gallo-Romance speaker (as opposed to a Frank), from Latin, Roman

Noun (2)

German Romanze & French romance, both ultimately from Spanish romance romance, ballad, from Old Occitan & Old French romanz

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Time Traveler for romance

Time Traveler

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

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Dictionary Entries Near romance

Roman Catholicism



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Statistics for romance

Cite this Entry

“Romance.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 6 Oct. 2022.

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More Definitions for romance


ro·​mance | \ rō-ˈmans How to pronounce romance (audio) \

Kids Definition of romance

1 : an attraction or appeal to the emotions the romance of the sea
2 : a love story
3 : a love affair
4 : an old tale of knights and noble ladies
5 : an adventure story


Ro·​mance | \ rō-ˈmans How to pronounce Romance (audio) \

Kids Definition of Romance

: relating to or being the languages (as French, Italian, and Spanish) that are descended from Latin

More from Merriam-Webster on romance

Nglish: Translation of romance for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of romance for Arabic Speakers Encyclopedia article about romance


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