- a person who takes up an art, activity, or subject merely for amusement, especially in a desultory or superficial way; dabbler.
- a lover of an art or science, especially of a fine art.
- of or relating to dilettantes.
Origin of dilettante
SynonymsSee more synonyms for dilettante on Thesaurus.com
Examples from the Web for dilettante
The fired host unloads on Current TV, accusing Al Gore of being a dilettante and co-owner Joel Hyatt of blackmail.Keith Olbermann Files a No-Holds-Barred Lawsuit Over Firing by Current TV
April 5, 2012
He fully admits his chronicle of Galliano's shows from 2004 to 2010 was “the work of a dilettante.”Paris' Sad Galliano Expo
June 21, 2011
I finally feel like I can call myself a writer now, rather than writing being just something I do on the side, as a dilettante.Molly Ringwald Grows Up
May 3, 2010
I would rather have you find fault with me like a friend than approve me like a dilettante.The Greater Inclination
It never failed; the dilettante in fun was not to be deceived.Concerning Cats
Helen M. Winslow
I really have no mind to turn into a dilettante spiritualist.Under Western Eyes
And it is equally foreign to the lips of the dilettante lover.Sex=The Unknown Quantity
Should he happen to be an artist, he must appear to be only a dilettante.A History of French Literature
- a person whose interest in a subject is superficial rather than professional
- a person who loves the arts
- of or characteristic of a dilettante
Word Origin and History for dilettante
1733, borrowing of Italian dilettante "lover of music or painting," from dilettare "to delight," from Latin delectare (see delight (n.)). Originally without negative connotation, "devoted amateur," the pejorative sense emerged late 18c. by contrast with professional.
Someone who is interested in the fine arts as a spectator, not as a serious practitioner. Dilettante is most often used to mean a dabbler, someone with a broad but shallow attachment to any field.