Definition of amateur in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈamədər/
Pronunciation: /ˈaməˌtər/
Pronunciation: /ˈaməCHər/


1A person who engages in a pursuit, especially a sport, on an unpaid basis.
Example sentences
  • In another key component, the band sponsored a female athlete and an amateur in each sport.
  • Last year, junior rider Kate Hart beat the professionals and the top amateurs to earn the victory.
  • So first off it was probably the top club juniors, then the top amateurs, then, I guess, guys like Faldo and Clarke.
nonprofessional, nonspecialist, layman, layperson;
informal greenhorn
1.1A person considered contemptibly inept at a particular activity: that bunch of stumbling amateurs
More example sentences
  • Pongratz speaks with admiration of the young performers in this production, no bunch of amateurs.
  • It's also a celebration of the passion for worshipping incompetent amateurs.
  • Owen is a journalist, Mara a novelist, and his contempt at having what he sees as an amateur on his patch is made blindingly obvious.
bungler, incompetent, bumbler


1Engaging or engaged in without payment; nonprofessional: an amateur archaeologist amateur athletics
More example sentences
  • The war dominates the lives of an enthusiastic band of amateur archaeologists known as the Diggers.
  • In the absence of payment, amateur reviewers write overwhelmingly about topics they love.
  • He believes the archaeological trust has a major educational role to play - for professional and amateur archaeologists alike.
nonprofessional, nonspecialist, lay;
1.1Inept or unskillful: it’s all so amateur!
More example sentences
  • It was a clumsy amateur agent who was foolish enough to allow himself to be detected.
  • The content may be excellent, but it is totally obscured by an amateur and clumsy overuse of computerised publishing.
  • Some of the attempts were amateur and romantically inept.
incompetent, inept, unskillful, inexpert, amateurish, clumsy, maladroit, bumbling



Pronunciation: /ˈamədəˌrizəm/
Pronunciation: /ˈaməˌt(y)o͝oˌrizəm/
Pronunciation: /ˈaməˌCHo͝oˌrizəm/
Example sentences
  • I was a little confused and don't know whether that was professionalism or pure amateurism.
  • Howman feels that amateurism should not be an issue.
  • Heroic amateurism has always been Cook's style.


Late 18th century: from French, from Italian amatore, from Latin amator 'lover', from amare 'to love'.

  • An amateur does something for love rather than for money. Borrowed from French in the 18th century, and ultimately from Latin amator ‘lover’, it was originally used to describe a person who loves or is fond of something. Later on it came to be used of a person who practises an art or sport as a hobby, rather than professionally, and also of someone who is inept at a particular activity. Compare aficionado

Words that rhyme with amateur


For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: am·a·teur

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