Share this entry

Share this page

dilettante

Line breaks: dil¦et|tante
Pronunciation: /ˌdɪlɪˈtanteɪ
 
, -ti/

Definition of dilettante in English:

noun (plural dilettanti /-ti/ or dilettantes)

1A person who cultivates an area of interest, such as the arts, without real commitment or knowledge.
Example sentences
  • The question that we should all be asking ourselves is: who are the real dilettantes?
  • Far from playing the dilettante, the author shares his in-depth knowledge of the area's religion, history and politics with the reader.
  • The sleuth bridges a number of formats and styles while always emphasising ingenuity, deduction and a dilettante's approach to crime-solving.
Synonyms
1.1 archaic A person with an amateur interest in the arts.
Example sentences
  • He wanted approval for his work, for the work's sake; he wasn't an amateur or a dilettante.
  • The opening brings out the full array of Calgary's artists, art-watchers, debutantes, dilettantes, party kids and general public, and generates a portion of the revenue that keeps this non-profit festival operating.

Origin

mid 18th century: from Italian, 'person loving the arts', from dilettare 'to delight', from Latin delectare.

Derivatives

dilettantish

1
adjective
Example sentences
  • The stigma attached to student films is that they are amateurish, dilettantish and excusable on the grounds that they're made by non-professionals.
  • He won't be quite as dilettantish about it and will be focused on that.
  • Her activism was derided as ideologically dilettantish from an actress encased within the Hollywood system and vainly seeking authenticity through scattergun sloganeering.

dilettantism

2
noun
Example sentences
  • Pop-star activism is commonly derided as egotism and/or dilettantism.
  • The two share a certain dilettantism; a belief that the job is somehow their birthright and that they don't really have to fight for it.
  • The logic employed in the piece is precisely the sort of weekend-warrior dilettantism you'd expect.

Definition of dilettante in:

Share this entry

Share this page

 

What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?

Get more from Oxford Dictionaries

Subscribe to remove adverts and access premium resources

Word of the day ingratiate
Pronunciation: ɪnˈɡreɪʃɪeɪt
verb
bring oneself into favour with someone through flattery…