afi·​cio·​na·​do ə-ˌfi-sh(ē-)ə-ˈnä-(ˌ)dō How to pronounce aficionado (audio)
variants or less commonly afficionado
plural aficionados also afficionados
: a person who likes, knows about, and appreciates a usually fervently pursued interest or activity : devotee
aficionados of the bullfight
movie aficionados

Did you know?

Before there were nerds, geeks, stans, fanboys, or fangirls, there were aficionados. But not long before, relatively speaking. English borrowed aficionado in the early 1800s directly from Spanish, making a noun out of the past participle of the Spanish verb aficionar, which means "to inspire affection." Nerd, geek, and the rest can sometimes imply that the devotee in question is overdoing their ardor, but aficionado (which traces further back to the same Latin ancestor that gave us the English word affection) is a more neutral descriptor for someone with an abiding and thoughtful devotion to an interest or activity.

Examples of aficionado in a Sentence

Such are the issues that spark hot debate among pizza chefs and aficionados. I recently visited some of the most dedicated pizza makers in the United States to have them demonstrate what makes their pizza special. Harvey Steiman, Wine Spectator, 30 June 2008
The quality varies with the individual authors, but both history buffs and aficionados of literary criticism will find food for thought here. Publishers Weekly, 8 Jan. 2001
When film aficionados speak of film noir, they usually refer to the look and attitude of certain films. As critics have found, such films do not form a genre; at best, they suggest a movement. Bonnie Smothers, Booklist, 15 Nov. 1999
Beyond scuba diving, North Carolina's Crystal Coast and Cape Lookout are famous for fishing. Although I'm not an aficionado myself, prospective anglers need only walk the docks of Moorehead City to book inshore or Gulf Stream excursions … James Sturz, New York Times, 26 Apr. 1998
an aficionado of the sci-fi series who has seen all the movies several times
Recent Examples on the Web With outfits as unique and varied as the individuals sporting them, our in-house fashion aficionados have inspiration for any upcoming nuptials and all the festivities in between. Conçetta Ciarlo, Vogue, 27 June 2024 Many claims about raw milk aren’t rooted in science, but not all are false Raw milk aficionados — including wellness milkfluencers who have been promoting its benefits on social media for the last several years — cite a range of reasons for preferring raw milk. Keren Landman, Vox, 16 May 2024 With hundreds of choices for your listening pleasure (or terror), what’s a true crime aficionado to do? Staff Author,, 16 June 2024 Cruise aficionados looking to experience Alaska's capital, Juneau, may have to vie for permission to disembark and step foot on land, under a new agreement between the city and major cruise lines that sail there. Megan Cerullo, CBS News, 5 June 2024 See all Example Sentences for aficionado 

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'aficionado.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


borrowed from Spanish aficionado, from past participle of aficionar "to inspire devotion or affection in," verbal derivative of afición "liking, interest," going back to earlier afeción, afección, borrowed from Latin affectiōn-, affectiō "feeling, feeling of attachment" — more at affection

First Known Use

1819, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of aficionado was in 1819


Dictionary Entries Near aficionado

Cite this Entry

“Aficionado.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 18 Jul. 2024.

Kids Definition


afi·​cio·​na·​do ə-ˌfish-(ē-)ə-ˈnäd-ō How to pronounce aficionado (audio)
plural aficionados
: a person who really likes and appreciates something
an aficionado of Mexican food
science fiction aficionados

Spanish, derived from Latin affectio "affection"

More from Merriam-Webster on aficionado

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
Love words? Need even more definitions?

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