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[am-uh-choo r, -cher, -ter, am-uh-tur] /ˈæm əˌtʃʊər, -tʃər, -tər, ˌæm əˈtɜr/
a person who engages in a study, sport, or other activity for pleasure rather than for financial benefit or professional reasons.
Compare professional.
an athlete who has never competed for payment or for a monetary prize.
a person inexperienced or unskilled in a particular activity:
Hunting lions is not for amateurs.
a person who admires something; devotee; fan:
an amateur of the cinema.
characteristic of or engaged in by an amateur; nonprofessional:
an amateur painter; amateur tennis.
Origin of amateur
1775-85; < French, Middle French < Latin amātor lover, equivalent to amā- (stem of amāre to love) + -tor -tor, replaced by French -teur (< Latin -tōr-, oblique stem of -tor); see -eur
Related forms
proamateur, adjective
Can be confused
amateur, armature.
2. nonprofessional. 3. dilettante, tyro, novice. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for amateur
  • In an age of specialists I find no end of fun in being an amateur.
  • But that's a sure sign of a total amateur.
  • Mr Howe aims to show that groups of amateurs can often produce better results and do so far more cheaply than professionals.
  • My first camera was a Christmas present from my father, a good amateur photographer.
  • Her strictly amateur sleuthing succeeds only by accident.
  • My photos look very amateur after looking at this, but it's still fun to enter the contest.
  • Yet it is an honourable subject, and this amateur could hardly have plunged more plainly and directly into it.
  • She recently picked up a new sport—boxing—and will soon compete in her first amateur match.
  • This is a very readable book for amateur and experienced photographer alike.
  • In some cases, citizen-scientists such as bird-watchers or amateur astronomers collectively can make significant contributions.
British Dictionary definitions for amateur


/ˈæmətə; -tʃə; -ˌtjʊə; ˌæməˈtɜː/
a person who engages in an activity, esp a sport, as a pastime rather than professionally or for gain
an athlete or sportsman
a person unskilled in or having only a superficial knowledge of a subject or activity
a person who is fond of or admires something
(modifier) consisting of or for amateurs: an amateur event
amateurish; not professional or expert: an amateur approach
Derived Forms
amateurism, noun
Word Origin
C18: from French, from Latin amātor lover, from amāre to love
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for amateur

1784, "one who has a taste for (something)," from French amateur "lover of," from Latin amatorem (nominative amator) "lover," agent noun from amatus, past participle of amare "to love" (see Amy). Meaning "dabbler" (as opposed to professional) is from 1786. As an adjective, by 1838.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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