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Word of the Day
Sunday, September 03, 2000

Definitions for dilettante

  1. An amateur or dabbler; especially, one who follows an art or a branch of knowledge sporadically, superficially, or for amusement only.
  2. An admirer or lover of the fine arts.
  3. Of or characteristic of a dilettante; amateurish.

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Citations for dilettante
As he had put it, it was a matter of principle, not money: Mistler family trusts, over which he exercised discretionary powers, had not been established to support dilettantes or would-be litterateurs waiting for inspiration. Louis Begley, Mistler's Exit
His writings, which began as a schoolboy's jottings for the amusement of classmates, continued into adulthood, although he describes his youthful work as the musings of a dilettante. David Gonzalez, New York Times
Origin of dilettante
Dilettante comes from the present participle of Italian delittare, "to delight," from Latin delectare, "to delight," frequentative of delicere, "to allure," from de- + lacere, "to entice."