Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. A person who engages in an art, science, study, or athletic activity as a pastime rather than as a profession.
  • n. Sports An athlete who has never accepted money, or who accepts money under restrictions specified by a regulatory body, for participating in a competition.
  • n. One lacking the skill of a professional, as in an art.
  • adj. Of or performed by an amateur.
  • adj. Made up of amateurs: an amateur cast.
  • adj. Not professional; unskillful.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A lover of something.
  • n. A person attached to a particular pursuit, study, or science as to music or painting; especially one who cultivates any study or art, from taste or attachment, without pursuing it professionally.
  • n. Someone who is unqualified or insufficiently skillful.
  • adj. Non-professional.
  • adj. Created, done, or populated by amateurs or non-professionals.
  • adj. Showing a lack of professionalism, experience or talent.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A person attached to a particular pursuit, study, or science as to music or painting; esp. one who cultivates any study or art, from taste or attachment, without pursuing it professionally.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. One who admires; an admirer; a lover.
  • n. One who has an especial love for any art, study, or pursuit, but does not practise it.
  • n. Most commonly, one who cultivates any study or art from taste or attachment, without pursuing it professionally or with a view to gain: often used of one who pursues a study or an art in a desultory, unskilful, or non-professional way.
  • n. Specifically, in sporting and athletics, an athlete who has never competed in a match open to all comers, or for a stake, or for public money, or for gate-money, or under a false name, or with a professional for a prize, and has never taught or pursued athletic exercises as a means of support.
  • Pertaining to or having the character of an amateur: as, amateur work; an amateur pianist.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. an athlete who does not play for pay
  • adj. engaged in as a pastime
  • n. someone who pursues a study or sport as a pastime
  • adj. lacking professional skill or expertise

Etymologies

French, from Latin amātor, lover, from amāre, to love.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From French amateur, from Latin amātōrem ("lover"), from amāre ("to love"). (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • Then it dawned on me that the word "amateur" comes from the French word meaning "to love."

    Restoration: Congress, Term Limits and the Recovery of Deliberative Democracy

  • I totally agree with your etymological assessment of the term amateur, I will always be an amateur, never a professional. lichanos

    I urge you « Jahsonic

  • But I don't think the term amateur is being used that way here.

    amateur hour

  • Over the decades, the word amateur changed its meaning.

    NYT > Home Page

  • Over the decades, the word amateur changed from conveying a moral sensibility, into an economic one.

    KansasCity.com: Front Page

  • The word amateur comes from the French 'amour', meaning someone who loves what they do.

    Daily DIY

  • The word amateur comes from the Latin amator, meaning to love.

    WordPress.com Top Blogs

  • Because he chooses words carefully, I was not totally surprised when he suggested that "the term amateur may have outlived its usefulness."

    Inside Higher Ed

  • The first step is to take Brand's "off the cuff" suggestion seriously and drop the term amateur when referring to scholarship athletes.

    Inside Higher Ed

  • They Came to Play "Anyone who regards the term amateur as pejorative should see this crowd-pleasing 2008 documentary about the virtuosos participating in the Van Cliburn Foundation's fifth International Piano Competition for Outstanding Amateurs," writes Andrea Gronvall.

    Chicago Reader

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Comments

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  • sometime you need to accept yr an amateur...

    February 26, 2013