[ am-uh-choor, -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

pro·am·a·teur, adjective

Can be confused

amateur armature Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for amateur

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 amateursan amateur event


amateurish; not professional or expertan amateur approach

Derived Forms

amateurism, noun

Word Origin for amateur

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