from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun A love affair.
  • noun Ardent emotional attachment or involvement between people; love.
  • noun A strong, sometimes short-lived attachment, fascination, or enthusiasm for something.
  • noun A mysterious or fascinating quality or appeal, as of something adventurous, heroic, or strangely beautiful.
  • noun A long medieval narrative in prose or verse that tells of the adventures and heroic exploits of chivalric heroes.
  • noun A long fictitious tale of heroes and extraordinary or mysterious events, usually set in a distant time or place.
  • noun The class of literature constituted by such tales.
  • noun An artistic work, such as a novel, story, or film, that deals with sexual love, especially in an idealized form.
  • noun The class or style of such works.
  • noun A fictitiously embellished account or explanation.
  • noun Music A lyrical, tender, usually sentimental song or short instrumental piece.
  • noun The Romance languages.
  • adjective Of, relating to, or being any of the languages that developed from Latin, including Italian, French, Portuguese, Romanian, and Spanish.
  • intransitive verb To think or behave in a romantic manner.
  • intransitive verb To court, woo, or try to arouse the romantic interest of.
  • intransitive verb To have a love affair with.
  • intransitive verb To try to persuade, as with flattery or incentives.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • 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.
  • noun 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.
  • noun In Spain and other Romanic countries—either a short epic narrative poem (historic ballad), or, later
  • noun a short lyric poem.
  • noun 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.”
  • noun 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.
  • noun Others were much scandalized. It [“The Pilgrim's Progress”] was a vain story, a mere romance, about giants, and lions, and goblins, and warriors.
  • noun An invention; fiction; falsehood: used euphemistically.
  • noun 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.
  • noun In music: A setting of a romantic story or tale; a ballad.
  • noun Any short, simple melody of tender character, whether vocal or instrumental; a song, or song without words. Also romanza.
  • noun [capitalized] A Romance language, or the Romance languages. See II.
  • noun 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.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • adjective Of or pertaining to the language or dialects known as Romance.
  • intransitive verb To write or tell romances; to indulge in extravagant stories.
  • noun 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.
  • noun An adventure, or series of extraordinary events, resembling those narrated in romances.
  • noun A dreamy, imaginative habit of mind; a disposition to ignore what is real.
  • noun 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).
  • noun (Mus.) A short lyric tale set to music; a song or short instrumental piece in ballad style; a romanza.
  • noun a love affair, esp. one in which the lovers display their deep affection openly, by romantic gestures.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun An intimate relationship between two people; a love affair.
  • noun A strong obsession or attachment for something or someone.
  • noun Love which is pure or beautiful.
  • noun A mysterious, exciting, or fascinating quality.
  • noun A story or novel dealing with idealised love.


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

[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.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

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’.


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  • 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 Thomas Wood

  • 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 2004

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

    romance 2002

  • 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.

    History of Tom Jones, a Foundling Henry Fielding 1730

  • 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 « 2009

  • 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 2009

  • 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 2008

  • 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 2008

  • 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 2008

  • 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

    Sunday Hangovers 2008


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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