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[par-uh-moo r] /ˈpær əˌmʊər/
an illicit lover, especially of a married person.
any lover.
Origin of paramour
1250-1300; Middle English, from the phrase par amour by or through love < Old French Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for paramour
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • The king himself now asserts it was because he had tried to seduce his paramour.

    Cyropaedia Xenophon
  • It is so easy to punish the woman, and yet it is not proved that she was worse than her paramour.

    Broken Bread Thomas Champness
  • How can you be the paramour type if you refuse to fall in love foolishly?

    The Perfectionists Arnold Castle
  • I deduced he was her paramour, husband or close relative, perhaps a brother.

    Valley of the Croen Lee Tarbell
  • For some months she enjoyed with her paramour all for which she had sighed in her home.

    Paul Clifford, Complete Edward Bulwer-Lytton
  • Come—I am impatient to shed your blood, and that of your paramour.

  • If her paramour is of low caste similar to herself, he has to marry her.

  • He disgraced his honored name by actually marrying his paramour.

    Facts And Fictions Of Life Helen H. Gardener
British Dictionary definitions for paramour


(mainly derogatory) a lover, esp an adulterous woman
an archaic word for beloved (sense 2)
Word Origin
C13: from Old French, literally: through 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 paramour

c.1300, noun use of adverbial phrase par amour (c.1300) "passionately, with strong love or desire," from Anglo-French and Old French par amour, from accusative of amor "love," from amare "to love" (see Amy). Originally a term for Christ (by women) or the Virgin Mary (by men), it came to mean "darling, sweetheart" (mid-14c.) and "mistress, concubine, clandestine lover" (late 14c.).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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