noun, often attributive
ty·​ro | \ ˈtī-(ˌ)rō How to pronounce tyro (audio) \
plural tyros

Definition of tyro

: a beginner in learning : novice

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Choose the Right Synonym for tyro

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

Did You Know?

The word tyro is hardly a newcomer to Western language. It comes from the Latin tiro, which means "young soldier," "new recruit," or more generally, "novice." The word was sometimes spelled "tyro" as early as Medieval Latin, and can be spelled "tyro" or "tiro" in English (though "tyro" is the more common American variant). Use of "tyro" in English has never been restricted to the original "young soldier" meaning of the Latin term. Writers in the 17th and 18th centuries wrote of tyros in various fields and occupations. Herman Melville used "tyro" to refer to men new to whaling and life at sea. More recently, The New York Times Book Review and Rolling Stone used the noun attributively (that is, directly before another noun), referring to a "tyro sleuth" and a "tyro director," respectively.

Examples of tyro in a Sentence

Most of the people in the class were tyros like me. he's a good musician, but at 14, he's still a tyro and has a lot to learn
Recent Examples on the Web Into the breach lunged Mr. Little, an unchallenged copywriting tyro such as only an agency chairman could be. Bruce Mccall, The New Yorker, "My Life in Cars," 12 Dec. 2020 Unfortunately, actor tyro director/screenwriter Brian Presley lacks the filmmaking chops to make the tale come alive in his feature debut. Frank Scheck, The Hollywood Reporter, "'The Great Alaskan Race': Film Review," 24 Oct. 2019 Socrates is a haunting slice of Brazilian neo-realism that marks its tyro director/co-screenwriter as a talent to watch. Frank Scheck, The Hollywood Reporter, "'Socrates': Film Review," 7 Aug. 2019 Amalia Vairelli and Vladimir McCrary, muses to Yves Saint Laurent and Jean Paul Gaultier, respectively, were included in a cast not short on tyro talents. Laird Borrelli-persson, Vogue, "Catching Up with Laura Delicata, Star of the ’00s Belgian Model Wave," 1 Mar. 2019 Canadian soprano saxophonist Bunnett lit up the place with her all-women Afro-Cuban band, Maqueque, which included full-throated vocalist Melvis Santa and Cuban drum tyro Yissy Garcia. Paul De Barros, The Seattle Times, "From Norah Jones to Dawn Clement, women shone at Monterey Jazz Festival 2018," 24 Sep. 2018 In supporting roles, Matthew Saldivar (as a crafty lawyer), Matthew Rauch (as a crude tyro on the rise) and Joey Slotnick (as the Boesky stand-in) at least have expressive physical presences. Ben Brantley, New York Times, "Review: ‘Junk’ Revives a Go-Go Era of Debt and Duplicity," 2 Nov. 2017 Justice Smith, as a rap tyro named Ezekiel; the Hamilton Tony-winner Daveed Diggs playing Ezekiel's older self, performing lyrics by Nas. Matt Miller, Esquire, "Why It's No Surprise Netflix Canceled The Get Down After One Season," 25 May 2017

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

1587, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for tyro

Medieval Latin, from Latin tiro young soldier, tyro

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Cite this Entry

“Tyro.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/tyro. Accessed 19 Apr. 2021.

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English Language Learners Definition of tyro

: a person who has just started learning or doing something : a beginner or novice

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