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

  • adjective Having, showing, expressive of, or conducive to feelings of love or romance.
  • adjective Imaginative but impractical; visionary.
  • adjective Not based on fact; idealized or fictitious.
  • adjective Of, relating to, or characteristic of artistic romance.
  • adjective Of or characteristic of romanticism in the arts.
  • noun A romantic person.
  • noun A follower or adherent of romanticism.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • 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.
  • noun An adherent of the romantic school. See romantic school, under I.

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

  • adjective Of or pertaining to romance; involving or resembling romance; hence, fanciful; marvelous; extravagant; unreal
  • adjective Entertaining ideas and expectations suited to a romance
  • adjective 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.
  • adjective Characterized by strangeness or variety; suggestive of adventure; suited to romance; wild; picturesque; -- applied to scenery.
  • adjective See under Drama.

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

  • noun A person with romantic character
  • noun A person who is behaving romantically

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

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


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

[French romantique, from obsolete romant, romance, from Old French romans, romant-, romance; see romance.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From romaunt +‎ -ic.


Help support Wordnik (and make this page ad-free) by adopting the word romantic.



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

  • 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