Definitions

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

  • n. A love affair.
  • n. Ardent emotional attachment or involvement between people; love: They kept the romance alive in their marriage for 35 years.
  • n. A strong, sometimes short-lived attachment, fascination, or enthusiasm for something: a childhood romance with the sea.
  • n. A mysterious or fascinating quality or appeal, as of something adventurous, heroic, or strangely beautiful: "These fine old guns often have a romance clinging to them” ( Richard Jeffries).
  • n. A long medieval narrative in prose or verse that tells of the adventures and heroic exploits of chivalric heroes: an Arthurian romance.
  • n. A long fictitious tale of heroes and extraordinary or mysterious events, usually set in a distant time or place.
  • n. The class of literature constituted by such tales.
  • n. An artistic work, such as a novel, story, or film, that deals with sexual love, especially in an idealized form.
  • n. The class or style of such works.
  • n. A fictitiously embellished account or explanation: We have been given speculation and romance instead of the facts.
  • n. Music A lyrical, tender, usually sentimental song or short instrumental piece.
  • n. The Romance languages.
  • adj. Of, relating to, or being any of the languages that developed from Latin, including Italian, French, Portuguese, Romanian, and Spanish.
  • intransitive v. To invent, write, or tell romances.
  • intransitive v. To think or behave in a romantic manner.
  • transitive v. Informal To make love to; court or woo.
  • transitive v. Informal To have a love affair with.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. An intimate relationship between two people; a love affair.
  • n. A strong obsession or attachment for something or someone.
  • n. Love which is pure or beautiful.
  • n. A mysterious, exciting, or fascinating quality.
  • n. A story or novel dealing with idealised love.
  • n. An embellished account of something; an idealised lie.
  • n. A romanza, or sentimental ballad.
  • v. Woo; court.
  • v. To write or tell romantic stories, poetry, letters, etc.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • adj. Of or pertaining to the language or dialects known as Romance.
  • n. A species of fictitious writing, originally composed in meter in the Romance dialects, and afterward in prose, such as the tales of the court of Arthur, and of Amadis of Gaul; hence, any fictitious and wonderful tale; a sort of novel, especially one which treats of surprising adventures usually befalling a hero or a heroine; a tale of extravagant adventures, of love, and the like.
  • n. An adventure, or series of extraordinary events, resembling those narrated in romances.
  • n. A dreamy, imaginative habit of mind; a disposition to ignore what is real.
  • n. The languages, or rather the several dialects, which were originally forms of popular or vulgar Latin, and have now developed into Italian. Spanish, French, etc. (called the Romanic languages).
  • n. A short lyric tale set to music; a song or short instrumental piece in ballad style; a romanza.
  • n. a love affair, esp. one in which the lovers display their deep affection openly, by romantic gestures.
  • intransitive v. To write or tell romances; to indulge in extravagant stories.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. Originally, a tale in verse, written in one of the Romance dialects, as early French or Provencal; hence, any popular epic belonging to the literature of modern Europe, or any fictitious story of heroic, marvelous, or supernatural incidents derived from history or legend, and told in prose or verse and at considerable length: as, the romance of Charlemagne; the Arthurian romances.
  • n. In Spain and other Romanic countries—either a short epic narrative poem (historic ballad), or, later
  • n. a short lyric poem.
  • n. A tale or novel dealing not so much with real or familiar life as with extraordinary and often extravagant adventures, as Cervantes's “Don Quixote,” with rapid and violent changes of scene and fortune, as Dumas's “Count of Monte Cristo,” with mysterious and supernatural events, as R. L. Stevenson's “Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde,” or with morbid idiosyncrasies of temperament, as Godwin's “Caleb Williams,” or picturing imaginary conditions of society influenced by imaginary characters, as Fouqué's “Undine.”
  • n. special forms of the romance, suggested by the subject and the manner of treatment, are the historical, the pastoral, the philosophical, the psychological, the allegorical, etc. See novel, n., 4.
  • n. Others were much scandalized. It [“The Pilgrim's Progress”] was a vain story, a mere romance, about giants, and lions, and goblins, and warriors.
  • n. An invention; fiction; falsehood: used euphemistically.
  • n. A blending of the heroic, the marvelous, the mysterious, and the imaginative in actions, manners, ideas, language, or literature; tendency of mind to dwell upon or give expression to the heroic, the marvelous, the mysterious, or the imaginative.
  • n. In music: A setting of a romantic story or tale; a ballad.
  • n. Any short, simple melody of tender character, whether vocal or instrumental; a song, or song without words. Also romanza.
  • n. [capitalized] A Romance language, or the Romance languages. See II.
  • n. Synonyms Tale, etc. See novel.
  • Pertaining to or denoting the languages which arose, in the south and west of Europe, out of the Roman or Latin language as spoken in the provinces at one time subject to Rome.
  • To invent and relate fictitious stories; deal in extravagant, fanciful, or false recitals; lie.
  • To be romantic; behave romantically or with fanciful or extravagant enthusiasm; build castles in the air.
  • To treat, present, or discuss in a romantic manner.

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

  • adj. relating to languages derived from Latin
  • n. a novel dealing with idealized events remote from everyday life
  • v. make amorous advances towards
  • n. a story dealing with love
  • v. talk or behave amorously, without serious intentions
  • n. an exciting and mysterious quality (as of a heroic time or adventure)
  • v. have a love affair with
  • n. the group of languages derived from Latin
  • n. a relationship between two lovers
  • v. tell romantic or exaggerated lies

Etymologies

Middle English, from Old French romans, romance, work written in French, from Vulgar Latin *rōmānicē (scrībere), (to write) in the vernacular, from Latin Rōmānicus, Roman, from Rōmānus; see Roman.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Middle English romauns, roumance, from Anglo-Norman romanz, romant ‘in the vernacular’ (vs. in Latin), from Medieval Latin rōmānicē, Vulgar Latin *rōmānicē (adv.) ‘in the Roman language’, from rōmānicus (adj.) ‘Roman’, from rōmānus ‘a Roman’. (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • WORDS ACCENTED ON THE LAST SYLLABLE: address _address'_ adept _adept'_ adult _adult'_ ally _ally'_ commandant _commandänt '(ä as in arm) _ contour _contour'_ dessert _dessert'_ dilate _dilate'_ excise _eksiz'_ finance _finance'_ grimace _grimace'_ importune _importune'_ occult _occult'_ pretence _pretence'_ research _research'_ robust _robust'_ romance _romance'_ tirade _tirade'_

    Practical Grammar and Composition

  • And it is the apprehension of this contempt that hath made us so cautiously avoid the term romance, a name with which we might otherwise have been well enough contented.

    The History of Tom Jones, a Foundling

  • The term romance has also been used for stories of mysterious adventures, not necessarily of heroes.

    romance

  • Ultimately what makes a romance a romance is the fact that the core of the story is about the development of a romantic relationship between characters.

    Happily ever aftering «

  • Yet the student/teacher romance is a widespread manga convention, from the quaint past relationship of Maison Ikkoku to this new yaoi release.

    Cause of My Teacher » Manga Worth Reading

  • The first time I read this, I went into it with some skepticism, because a Data romance is a very tricky thing – fanfic authors I respect have argued that he cannot have a plausible relationship.

    STTNG: Immortal Coil by Jeffrey Lang

  • It has a compelling plot and the languid build up of the romance is a nice thing in this ADD world.

    Book Review: Twilight | Heretical Ideas Magazine

  • I'd read John Crowley's dream journal in a hot minute: Northrop Frye says that one of the components of what he calls romance

    April 2008

  • The plot of the romance is therefore universally admitted to be the best that Dickens has ever invented.

    The Public and Private Worlds of Charles Dickens

  • O.K. to what you term your romance of the dots and dashes, Cyn.

    Wired Love A Romance of Dots and Dashes

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  • Because She Would Ask Me Why I Loved Her
    by Christopher Brennan (1870-1932)

    If questioning would make us wise
    No eyes would ever gaze in eyes;
    If all our tale were told in speech
    No mouths would wander each to each.

    Were spirits free from mortal mesh
    And love not bound in hearts of flesh
    No aching breasts would yearn to meet
    And find their ecstasy complete.

    For who is there that lives and knows
    The secret powers by which he grows?
    Were knowledge all, what were our need
    To thrill and faint and sweetly bleed?

    Then seek not, sweet, the "If" and "Why"
    I love you now until I die.
    For I must love because I live
    And life in me is what you give.

    December 10, 2006