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Word of the Day
Friday, March 03, 2006

Definitions for dilettante

  1. An amateur or dabbler; especially, one who follows an art or a branch of knowledge sporadically, superficially, or for amusement only.
  2. An admirer or lover of the fine arts.
  3. Of or characteristic of a dilettante; amateurish.

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Citations for dilettante
As he had put it, it was a matter of principle, not money: Mistler family trusts, over which he exercised discretionary powers, had not been established to support dilettantes or would-be litterateurs waiting for inspiration. Louis Begley, Mistler's Exit
His writings, which began as a schoolboy's jottings for the amusement of classmates, continued into adulthood, although he describes his youthful work as the musings of a dilettante. David Gonzalez, New York Times
Origin of dilettante
1725-1735
Dilettante comes from the present participle of Italian delittare, "to delight," from Latin delectare, "to delight," frequentative of delicere, "to allure," from de- + lacere, "to entice."