[par-uh-moo r]
See more synonyms for paramour on

Origin of paramour

1250–1300; Middle English, from the phrase par amour by or through love < Old French Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for paramour

Contemporary Examples of paramour

Historical Examples of paramour

  • The king himself now asserts it was because he had tried to seduce his paramour.



  • 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.

  • For some months she enjoyed with her paramour all for which she had sighed in her home.

    Paul Clifford, Complete

    Edward Bulwer-Lytton

British Dictionary definitions for paramour


  1. mainly derogatory a lover, esp an adulterous woman
  2. an archaic word for beloved (def. 2)

Word Origin for paramour

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

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