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.
- dil·et·tan·tish, dil·et·tan·te·ish, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023
How to use dilettante in a sentence
Long before that, Scaife had lived the life of a dilettante.The Great Inheritors: How Three Families Shielded Their Fortunes From Taxes for Generations | by Patricia Callahan, James Bandler, Justin Elliott, Doris Burke and Jeff Ernsthausen | December 15, 2021 | ProPublica
One minute they are a king, the next a murderer, a jaded dilettante, a passionate and forsaken lover.After 1,000 pages, you’ll hunger for more Highsmith | Kathi Wolfe | December 11, 2021 | Washington Blade
The standard critique is that guiding companies are hauling rich, inexperienced dilettantes up the mountain who create traffic jams and make bad decisions, putting everyone at greater risk.
Delivering water helps “dispel the nagging guilt of a slumming dilettante, but only a little” Hardin writes, while wondering whether it’s possible to make a difference in a place “where the devastation extends back decades.”In ‘Standpipe,’ David Hardin offers poignant, fleeting reflections on the Flint water crisis | Kerri Arsenault | January 21, 2021 | Washington Post
Suggestions ranged from the dilettante purse designer played by Jennifer Coolidge in the original series to Leslie Jones, who seemed to have Samantha confused with Sabrina the Teenage Witch.Sex and the City Is Nothing Without Samantha Jones | Judy Berman | January 11, 2021 | Time
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 | Howard Kurtz | April 5, 2012 | THE DAILY BEAST
But the director publicly clashed with Norton (calling him a “narcissistic dilettante”).Hollywood’s Craziest Director Tony Kaye, Seeks Redemption, With ‘Detachment’ | Chris Lee | March 15, 2012 | THE DAILY BEAST
He fully admits his chronicle of Galliano's shows from 2004 to 2010 was “the work of a dilettante.”
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.
This deficiency in technique must even debar him from claiming any higher signification than that of a clever dilettante.The History of Modern Painting, Volume 1 (of 4) | Richard Muther
He had dropped in in a dilettante spirit to hear the spirited debate, and the judges were greatly honored.Through the Wall | Cleveland Moffett
With increase of reading we have fallen into a fireside, dilettante culture of ideas as an intellectual pleasure.More Pages from a Journal | Mark Rutherford
Do not suspect that I impose on you the task of writing letters to answer my dilettante questions.George Eliot's Life, Vol. II (of 3) | George Eliot
I believe this to be the test to distinguish the mere dilettante from the artist of real genius.The Aesthetical Essays | Friedrich Schiller
British Dictionary definitions for dilettante
a person whose interest in a subject is superficial rather than professional
a person who loves the arts
of or characteristic of a dilettante
- dilettantish or dilettanteish, adjective
- dilettantism or dilettanteism, noun
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
Cultural definitions for dilettante
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.
The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.