1 [n., adj. roh-mans, roh-mans; v. roh-mans]
a novel or other prose narrative depicting heroic or marvelous deeds, pageantry, romantic exploits, etc., usually in a historical or imaginary setting.
the colorful world, life, or conditions depicted in such tales.
a medieval narrative, originally one in verse and in some Romance dialect, treating of heroic, fantastic, or supernatural events, often in the form of allegory.
a baseless, made-up story, usually full of exaggeration or fanciful invention.
a romantic spirit, sentiment, emotion, or desire.
romantic character or quality.
a romantic affair or experience; a love affair.
(initial capital letter) . Also, Romanic. Also called Romance languages. the group of Italic Indo-European languages descended since a.d. 800 from Latin, as French, Spanish, Italian, Portuguese, Romanian, Provençal, Catalan, Rhaeto-Romanic, Sardinian, and Ladino. Abbreviation: Rom.
verb (used without object), romanced, romancing.
to invent or relate romances; indulge in fanciful or extravagant stories or daydreams.
to think or talk romantically.
verb (used with object), romanced, romancing.
to court or woo romantically; treat with ardor or chivalrousness: He's currently romancing a very attractive widow.
to court the favor of or make overtures to; play up to: They need to romance the local business community if they expect to do business here.
(initial capital letter) . Also, Romanic. of, pertaining to, or noting Romance: a Romance language.

1250–1300; Middle English romaunce Romanic language, composition in such a language < Old French, derivative of romanz, romans (adj.) Romanic < Vulgar Latin *Rōmānicē (adv.) in a Romance language, derivative of Latin Rōmānicus Romanic

romancer, noun

1. story, fiction. 4. falsehood, fable. 6. allure, fascination, exoticism. Unabridged


2 [roh-mans]
Music. a short, simple melody, vocal or instrumental, of tender character.
Spanish Literature. a short epic poem, especially a historical ballad.

1595–1605; < French < Spanish: kind of poem, ballad < Old French romanz romance1 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
1.  a love affair, esp an intense and happy but short-lived affair involving young people
2.  love, esp romantic love idealized for its purity or beauty
3.  a spirit of or inclination for adventure, excitement, or mystery
4.  a mysterious, exciting, sentimental, or nostalgic quality, esp one associated with a place
5.  a narrative in verse or prose, written in a vernacular language in the Middle Ages, dealing with strange and exciting adventures of chivalrous heroes
6.  any similar narrative work dealing with events and characters remote from ordinary life
7.  the literary genre represented by works of these kinds
8.  (in Spanish literature) a short narrative poem, usually an epic or historical ballad
9.  a story, novel, film, etc, dealing with love, usually in an idealized or sentimental way
10.  an extravagant, absurd, or fantastic account or explanation
11.  a lyrical song or short instrumental composition having a simple melody
12.  (intr) to tell, invent, or write extravagant or romantic fictions
13.  (intr) to tell extravagant or improbable lies
14.  (intr) to have romantic thoughts
15.  (intr) (of a couple) to indulge in romantic behaviour
16.  (tr) to be romantically involved with
[C13: romauns, from Old French romans, ultimately from Latin Rōmānicus Roman]

Romance (rəˈmæns, ˈrəʊmæns)
1.  denoting, relating to, or belonging to the languages derived from Latin, including Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, French, and Romanian
2.  denoting a word borrowed from a Romance language: there are many Romance words in English
3.  this group of languages; the living languages that belong to the Italic branch of the Indo-European family

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
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Word Origin & History

c.1300, "story of a hero's adventures," also (early 14c.), "vernacular language of France" (as opposed to Latin), from O.Fr. romanz "verse narrative," originally an adverb, "in the vernacular language," from V.L. *romanice scribere "to write in a Romance language" (one developed from Latin instead of
Frankish), from L. Romanicus "of or in the Roman style," from Romanus "Roman" (see Roman). The connecting notion is that medieval vernacular tales were usually about chivalric adventure. Literary sense extended by 1660s to "a love story." Extended 1610s to other modern languages derived from Latin (Spanish, Italian, etc.). Meaning "adventurous quality" first recorded 1801; that of "love affair, idealistic quality" is from 1916. The verb meaning "court as a lover" is from 1942.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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American Heritage
Cultural Dictionary

romance definition

In traditional literary terms, a narration of the extraordinary exploits of heroes, often in exotic or mysterious settings. Most of the stories of King Arthur and his knights are romances.

The term romance has also been used for stories of mysterious adventures, not necessarily of heroes. Like the heroic kind of romance, however, these adventure romances usually are set in distant places. William Shakespeare's play The Tempest is this kind of romance.

Today, a novel concerned mainly with love is often called a romance. Romances are frequently published in paperback series.

The American Heritage® New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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Example sentences
The sight and smell of the sea inspire courage and adventure, fear and romance.
Her accomplishments led to a life of drama and romance on a grand scale.
Five ways to add romance to evenings in the garden.
Environmentalists may feel a twinge of fear at this burgeoning romance with
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