Definition of amateur in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈamətə/
Pronunciation: /ˈamətʃə/ Pronunciation: /ˈamətʃʊə/ Pronunciation: /ˌaməˈtəː/


1A person who engages in a pursuit, especially a sport, on an unpaid basis: it takes five years for a top amateur to become a real Tour de France rider his last fight as an amateur
More 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.
non-professional, non-specialist, layman, layperson;
dilettante, dabbler, potterer, trifler;
enthusiast, devotee, fan, … lover
informal buff, ham
1.1A person who is 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, blunderer, incompetent, bumbler
British informal bodger


1Engaging or engaged in without payment; non-professional: 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.
non-professional, non-specialist, lay;
1.1Done in an inept or unskilful way: 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, useless, unskilful, inexpert, clumsy, maladroit, gauche, blundering, bungling, bumbling, amateurish, botched, crude
British informal bodged



Pronunciation: /ˈamətərɪz(ə)m/
Pronunciation: /ˈamətʃərɪz(ə)m/
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

Line breaks: ama|teur

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