[ par-uh-moo r ]
/ ˈpær əˌmʊər /


an illicit lover, especially of a married person.
any lover.

Nearby words

  1. paramo,
  2. paramorph,
  3. paramorphine,
  4. paramorphism,
  5. paramount,
  6. paramus,
  7. paramyloid,
  8. paramyloidosis,
  9. paramyoclonus,
  10. paramyotonia

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. 2019

Examples from the Web for paramour

British Dictionary definitions for paramour


/ (ˈpærəˌmʊə) /


mainly derogatory a lover, esp an adulterous woman
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