from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. Plural form of dilettante.


Sorry, no etymologies found.


  • He did not depreciate the labors of so-called dilettanti, who were after all lovers of knowledge, and in a study such as that of anthropology, the labors of these volunteers, or franc-tireurs, had often proved most valuable.

    Scientific American Supplement No. 822, October 3, 1891

  • If we may apply to art what Goethe said of poetry we find that among its votaries there are two kinds of self-half-informed people, "dilettanti," he calls them, "he who neglects the indispensable mechanical part, and he thinks he has done enough if he shows spirituality and feeling, and he who seeks to arrive at poetry merely by mechanism in which he can acquire an artisan's readiness, and is without soul and matter."

    Final Report of the Louisiana Purchase Exposition Commission

  • Our objects are not those of mere dilettanti, although for my part I should blame no association which boldly inscribed "dilettanti" on its breezy flag.

    Platform Monologues

  • Our English dilettanti would be very pathetic on the subject of the national taste, if they could hear an Italian opera half as badly sung in

    Pictures from Italy

  • His collection in Prague, put together in the last years of the sixteenth century, constituted the ideal upon which the royal and noble dilettanti of Europe based their aspirations.

    The Dragon’s Trail

  • Seminars, workshops, writing groups, etc, are more the realm of the dilettanti.


  • The public is of the same way of thinking; and hence its general respect for professionals and its distrust of dilettanti.

    The Art of Literature

  • He knew that Vronsky could not be prevented from amusing himself with painting; he knew that he and all dilettanti had a perfect right to paint what they liked, but it was distasteful to him.

    Anna Karenina

  • He was well acquainted with the way dilettanti have (the cleverer they were the worse he found them) of looking at the works of contemporary artists with the sole object of being in a position to say that art is a thing of the past, and that the more one sees of the new men the more one sees how inimitable the works of the great old masters have remained.

    Anna Karenina

  • Mountjoy had been planned and planted in the years of which he knew nothing; generations of skilled and patient husband-men had weeded and dunged and pruned; generations of dilettanti had watered it with cascades and jets; generations of collectors had lugged statuary here; all, it seemed, for his enjoyment this very night under this huge moon.

    The Complete Stories


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  • "An English critic greeted a collection of his songs by writing, 'Mr. Sor's vocal compositions have gained such favour among the higher order of musical dilettanti, that a new set of arietts from his pen causes almost as much sensation as the publication of a new novel by the author of Waverly.'"

    —Glenn Kurtz, Practicing: A Musician's Return to Music (New York: Vintage Books, 2007), 67

    November 3, 2008