Help support Wordnik by adopting your favorite word!

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

Comments

Log in or sign up to get involved in the conversation. It's quick and easy.

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

    February 26, 2013