Definitions

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

  • adj. Of, relating to, or characteristic of romance.
  • adj. Given to thoughts or feelings of romance. See Synonyms at sentimental.
  • adj. Displaying, expressive of, or conducive to love: a romantic atmosphere.
  • adj. Imaginative but impractical; visionary: romantic notions.
  • adj. Not based on fact; imaginary or fictitious: His memoirs were criticized as a romantic view of the past.
  • adj. Of or characteristic of romanticism in the arts.
  • n. A romantic person.
  • n. A follower or adherent of romanticism.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A person with romantic character
  • n. A person who is behaving romantically

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • adj. Of or pertaining to romance; involving or resembling romance; hence, fanciful; marvelous; extravagant; unreal
  • adj. Entertaining ideas and expectations suited to a romance
  • adj. Of or pertaining to the style of the Christian and popular literature of the Middle Ages, as opposed to the classical antique; of the nature of, or appropriate to, that style.
  • adj. Characterized by strangeness or variety; suggestive of adventure; suited to romance; wild; picturesque; -- applied to scenery.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • Pertaining to or resembling romance, or an ideal state of things; partaking of the heroic, the marvelous, the supernatural, or the imaginative; chimerical; fanciful; extravagantly enthusiastic: as, romantic notions; romantic expectations; romantic devotion.
  • Pertaining to romances or the popular literature of the middle ages; hence, improbable; fabulous; fictitious.
  • Wildly or impressively picturesque; characterized by poetic or inspiring scenery; suggesting thoughts of romance: as, a romantic prospect; a romantic glen.
  • In music, noting a style, work, or musician characterized by less attention to the formal and objective methods of composition than to the expression of subjective feeling; sentimental; imaginative; passionate: opposed to classical.
  • Romantic in music, as elsewhere, is a relative word; it denotes especially the style, tendency, or school represented by Von Weber, Schumann, Chopin, Wagner, and others, and by certain works or characteristics of Beethoven, Mendelssohn, and Schubert.
  • In architecture and art, fanciful; fantastic; not formal or classical; characterized by pathos. See pathos, 2.
  • Synonyms Romantic, Sentimental. Sentimental is used in reference to the feelings, romantic in reference to the imagination. Sentimental is used in a sense unfavorable, but in all degrees: as, an amiably sentimental person; the sentimental pity that would surround imprisoned criminals with luxuries. “The sentimental person is one of wrong or excessive sensibility, or who imports mere sentiment into matters worthy of more vigorous thought.” (C. J. Smith, Syn. Disc., p. 680.) Romantic, when applied to character, is generally unfavorable, but in all degrees, implying that the use of the imagination is extravagant. A romantic person indulges his imagination in the creation and contemplation of scenes of ideal enterprise, adventure, and enjoyment. A romantic tendency is often a part of the exuberance of youthful vitality, and may be disciplined into imaginative strength; sentimentality is a sort of mental sickliness or degeneration, and is not easily recovered from.
  • n. An adherent of the romantic school. See romantic school, under I.

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

  • adj. belonging to or characteristic of Romanticism or the Romantic Movement in the arts
  • n. a soulful or amorous idealist
  • adj. expressive of or exciting sexual love or romance
  • adj. not sensible about practical matters; idealistic and unrealistic
  • n. an artist of the Romantic Movement or someone influenced by Romanticism

Etymologies

French romantique, from obsolete romant, romance, from Old French romans, romant-, romance; see romance.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From romaunt +‎ -ic. (Wiktionary)

Examples

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Comments

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  • this is one of those words that i feel have been mistreated over the years. to me, "romance", and the choice to call something "romantic" is a personal thing; it seems to me that people use this word most often in terms of a relationship or a situation that may become a relationship or invite sexuality of some kind. i would like to be able to use it to mean "beautiful" or "inspirational" in a less conventional, boring sense, but i don't because it doesn't communicate well.

    sorry if that was a rant. i just felt the urge to state this somewhere.

    November 16, 2008