A Word A Day : Dilettante

Friday, 30th November 2007 : Today's Word is ...


( Noun & Adjective )

Pronunciation : dìlle-taant

1. somebody who takes up a subject or interest in a superficial or desultory way

2. somebody who is very interested in the fine arts (dated)

3. an amateur who engages in an activity without serious intentions and who pretends to have knowledge


Italian - lover of the arts - from present participle of dilettare - to delight - from Latin dēlectāre


amateur, dabbler out, abecedarian, neophyte, novice, tentative, unaccomplished, unadorned, unassembled, uncompleted, unconcluded, under construction, undeveloped, undone, unexecuted, unfashioned, unfulfilled, unperfected, unpolished, unrefined, wanting, superficial


expert, accomplished, expertly, gifted, professional, skilled, master, virtuoso, connoisseur, tyro

Contextual Example:

• The cottage was far from that standard at present, for Lisbeth's rheumatism had forced her to give up her old habits of dilettante scouring and polishing.

• He had dawdled over his cigar because he was at heart a dilettante, and thinking over a pleasure to come often gave him a subtler satisfaction than its realisation.

Related Words :

1. dilettantish : Adjective

2. dilettantism: Noun

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