AskDefine | Define amateur

Dictionary Definition

amateur adj
1 engaged in as a pastime; "an amateur painter"; "gained valuable experience in amateur theatricals"; "recreational golfers"; "reading matter that is both recreational and mentally stimulating"; "unpaid extras in the documentary" [syn: recreational, unpaid]
2 lacking professional skill or expertise; "a very amateurish job"; "inexpert but conscientious efforts"; "an unskilled painting" [syn: amateurish, inexpert, unskilled]


1 someone who pursues a study or sport as a pastime
2 does not play for pay [ant: professional]

User Contributed Dictionary

see Amateur



From etyl fr amateur, from etyl la amatorem, from amare.


  • a UK /ˈamətjʊə/|/ˈamətə/
  • a US /ˈæm.ə.tʊəɹ/|/ˈæmətʃɚ/
  • ,


  1. A lover of something.
  2. A person attached to a particular pursuit, study, or science as to music or painting; esp. one who cultivates any study or art, from taste or attachment, without pursuing it professionally.
    She is an accomplished amateur woodworker.
  3. Someone who is unqualified or insufficiently skilful.
    The entire thing was built by some amateurs with screwdrivers and plywood.


person attached to a pursuit without pursuing it professionally
someone who is inept


  1. Non-professional.
  2. Created, done, or populated by a amateurs or non-professionals.
    amateur sports
  3. Showing a lack of professionalism, experience or talent.
    Duct tape is a sure sign of amateur workmanship.



From amator "lover", from amare "to love".



  1. amateur



Extensive Definition

An amateur is generally considered a person attached to a particular pursuit, study, or science, without formal training or pay. Conversely, an expert is generally considered a person with extensive knowledge, ability, and/or training in a particular area of study, while a professional is someone who also makes a living from it. Translated from its French origin to the English "lover of", the term "amateur" reflects a voluntary motivation to work as a result of personal passion for a particular activity.
As with any construct, amateurism can be seen in both a negative and positive light. Since amateurs often do not have training, amateur work can sometimes be seen as sub-par. For example, amateur athletes in sports such as basketball or football are not regarded as having the same level of ability as professional athletes.
Alternatively, the lack of financial recompense can also be seen as a sign of commitment to an activity. For instance, until the 1970s most Olympic events required that the athletes be amateurs. Receiving payment to participate in an event disqualified an athlete from that event, as in the case of Jim Thorpe. In the olympic games, this rule remains in place for boxing and for men's football events.
Amateurs make valuable contributions in the fields of computer programming through the open source movement. Amateur Dramatics is the performance of either plays or musical theater, often to high standards but lacking the budgets of the professional West End or Broadway performances. Astronomy and ornithology have also benefited from the activity of amateurs.
Pursuing amateur activities to the same standards as professionals is sometimes referred to as professional amateurism.
An example of the word amateur used in a sentence would be, "Max is an amateur because he is an unskilled worker."


amateur in Bosnian: Amater
amateur in Czech: Amatér
amateur in Danish: Amatør
amateur in German: Amateur
amateur in Spanish: Amateur (afición)
amateur in French: Amateur
amateur in Croatian: Amater
amateur in Lithuanian: Mėgėjas
amateur in Hungarian: Amatőr
amateur in Macedonian: Аматер
amateur in Dutch: Amateur
amateur in Japanese: アマチュア
amateur in Norwegian: Amatør
amateur in Norwegian Nynorsk: Amatør
amateur in Portuguese: Amadorismo
amateur in Simple English: Amateur
amateur in Serbian: Аматер
amateur in Finnish: Amatööri
amateur in Swedish: Amatör
amateur in Vietnamese: Tài tử

Synonyms, Antonyms and Related Words

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