as in tinkerer
a person who regularly or occasionally engages in an activity as a pastime rather than as a profession he was a dabbler, learning the basics of many arts but mastering none

Synonyms & Similar Words


Antonyms & Near Antonyms

Synonym Chooser

How does the noun dabbler differ from other similar words?

Some common synonyms of dabbler are amateur, dilettante, and tyro. While all these words mean "a person who follows a pursuit without attaining proficiency or professional status," dabbler suggests desultory habits of work and lack of persistence.

a dabbler who started novels but never finished them

In what contexts can amateur take the place of dabbler?

The words amateur and dabbler can be used in similar contexts, but amateur often applies to one practicing an art without mastery of its essentials; in sports it may also suggest not so much lack of skill but avoidance of direct remuneration.

a painting obviously done by an amateur
remained an amateur despite lucrative offers

When might dilettante be a better fit than dabbler?

The words dilettante and dabbler are synonyms, but do differ in nuance. Specifically, 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

When would tyro be a good substitute for dabbler?

The synonyms tyro and dabbler are sometimes interchangeable, but tyro implies inexperience often combined with audacity with resulting crudeness or blundering.

shows talent but is still a mere tyro

Thesaurus Entries Near dabbler

Cite this Entry

“Dabbler.” Thesaurus, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 23 May. 2024.

More from Merriam-Webster on dabbler

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!