[ 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.

Nearby words

  1. amastia,
  2. amastigote,
  3. amata,
  4. amate,
  5. amaterasu,
  6. amateur night,
  7. amateurish,
  8. amateurism,
  9. amathi,
  10. amati

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 formspro·am·a·teur, adjective

Can be confusedamateur 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 Formsamateurism, 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

Word Origin and History for amateur



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