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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.
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 amateurs
  • Both, in the main, may be described as efforts made by amateurs to bring the theatre into their own halls or parks.
  • Cost can be eliminated by amateurs using garden or field flowers.
  • Searches can be amateurishly conducted because faculty members are essentially amateurs at the business of hiring.
  • Limited by the light-gathering power of their instruments, amateurs mostly observed.
  • Many of these artists were local residents, a number of them amateurs.
  • No wonder their photos have caught the eye of critics and amateurs alike.
  • From the narcotized narrator to the cheesy sound effects, this was the work of amateurs.
  • On the outer rim, dozens of amateurs sit pondering their replies until he completes the circuit.
  • There's a risk of brain damage for the amateurs too, despite their use of head protection.
  • Sadly, quartz fibers are difficult for amateurs to come by.
British Dictionary definitions for amateurs


/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 amateurs



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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