Main definitions of romance in English

: romance1Romance2


Pronunciation /ˈrəʊmans//rə(ʊ)ˈmans/


  • 1mass noun A feeling of excitement and mystery associated with love.

    ‘I had a thirst for romance’
    • ‘Also, there's a point where a character says love and romance are just things created to sell products.’
    • ‘It doesn't matter: as long as there are quiet nights and dancing, as long as we need music that captures romance as well as love, her songs will be played.’
    • ‘Women's simultaneous desire for love and romance and anxiety about the exigencies of marriage lent them a peculiar potency in courtship negotiations.’
    • ‘A woman needs excitement, romance, or at least a good time in bed.’
    • ‘For those looking to put the romance back into their relationship, it is expected that the average lover will spend up to €300 on St Valentine's Day presents.’
    • ‘Love and romance are the keys to a satisfying relationship.’
    • ‘The feeling of romance and love quickly fled from her body, so she was now left with a cold, alone feeling.’
    • ‘Jemmey had spent years wandering from village to village in search of romance.’
    • ‘She didn't know romance or love till she met Lance, he changed her life, made her more human.’
    • ‘She had given up on her childish notions about love, sex and romance and had come to the inescapable conclusion that everyone who believed in it was naive or ignorant or both.’
    • ‘Even though we married, it was more about convenience, teamwork, cooperation, etc. than love or romance.’
    • ‘For middle-aged women since the 1950s, Paris has been associated with romance - and sometimes with sex.’
    • ‘That maybe all well and good for you, Dex, but love and romance don't pay the bills.’
    • ‘That, combined with the lights of the city and French conversation, clarified why Paris was always associated with romance.’
    1. 1.1 Love, especially when sentimental or idealized.
      ‘he asked her for a date and romance blossomed’
      • ‘There was no sense in destroying their idealized visions of romance.’
      • ‘This is the time for romance: a love affair seems to be blossoming.’
      • ‘Keep romance alive. Go on regular, standing dates, even it they are on Tuesday nights.’
      • ‘Both men and women consider romance and passion far less important than support and caring.’
      • ‘Roses are often associated with romance, and so a rose garden might do the trick - although you may want to be selective about which roses you choose.’
      • ‘We'd prefer something with a little more class, a touch of sentiment and romance perhaps, and first-rate production values.’
      • ‘Sex is part of love, part of romance, part of intimacy, but it isn't all of it.’
      • ‘The cattle stations of Australia's far north were big business and there was no longer a place for sentiment and romance.’
      • ‘In her diary, Welch hopes for dating, romance, and marriage, but these events never occur.’
      • ‘The historic, red brick building was a delight in itself and the interior, especially downstairs, had a feeling of intimacy and romance.’
      • ‘He and Travis never talked about feelings or about intimate things like romance.’
      • ‘Rather than an outlaw passion lurking on the outskirts of marriage, romance became the gatekeeper of marriage.’
      • ‘In a survey earlier this year, romance blossomed for nearly two-thirds of employees within the British workplace.’
      • ‘At some point in our lives, the trials and tribulations of love and romance become a constant - even if we aren't dating, we usually wish we were.’
      • ‘And when it comes to romance, the Czechs certainly have no qualms about public displays of affection!’
      • ‘Personals is an online oasis for single people seeking dates, romance, and lifelong partners.’
      • ‘But real life is not a romantic fairy tale and only you can create an environment that is conducive to romance, and bring out the lover in your spouse.’
      • ‘It is meant to act as a check on the problematic impulses of romance and sentimentalism.’
      love, passion, ardour, adoration, devotion
      View synonyms
    2. 1.2count noun A love affair, especially one that is not very serious or long-lasting.
      ‘a holiday romance’
      • ‘Jude could almost picture it - summers spent in with the family, and holiday romances remembered fondly years later.’
      • ‘Apparently, Leo recently spent some time in Taiwan shooting a big new movie, and while he was there, he started up a whirlwind romance with a lucky local.’
      • ‘Each one was dreading that the other might say it was just a holiday romance and that they wanted to finish it.’
      • ‘The following year, she realised it was more than a holiday romance and came back to stay.’
      • ‘Not even the ladies-in-waiting cared for much except when it had to do with castle romances or flirtations.’
      • ‘Following a whirlwind romance, the two get hitched and jet off to Europe for a disastrous honeymoon - returning back to America at the point of separation.’
      • ‘They disapproved of a lot of my sister's romances, and I was all prepared for them disapproving of Phil.’
      • ‘They embark on a slow, sweet romance and fall in love.’
      • ‘In the world of quickie romances and shotgun relationships, finding the perfect match is nothing short of an Olympian task.’
      • ‘Things certainly moved quickly with Felix, but summer romances tend to be that way.’
      • ‘It was such a idyllic setting, she could imagine herself having a whirlwind romance of sorts in Scotland.’
      • ‘He tells his parents it's just a summer romance, but he's having so much fun that he's thinking about blowing off his career for a year or so.’
      • ‘It's the latest shocker in a whirlwind romance that has been kind of hard to keep up with.’
      • ‘Alora had had boyfriends before when she was a two or three years younger, but only childish romances, nothing serious.’
      • ‘After a whirlwind romance, they are married and work very hard to conceive a kid.’
      • ‘So they had a summer romance, and she got pregnant with me.’
      • ‘Celebrity gossip in our newspapers and Web pages and T.V. is constantly intruding into the personal lives of famous individuals, giving us the latest scoop on their latest failed romances.’
      • ‘They fumble through their budding romances, discovering meaning as they go.’
      • ‘He still seemed to take these simple romances far too seriously.’
      • ‘In this brave-new-world of e-mails and cheap telephone calls, holiday romances are much easier to prolong.’
      • ‘The play's strength derives from its presentation of both an affair and a workplace romance, each with their different dynamics.’
      love affair, affair, affair of the heart, relationship, liaison, courtship, amorous entanglement, romantic entanglement, intrigue, attachment
      View synonyms
    3. 1.3count noun A book or film dealing with love in a sentimental or idealized way.
      ‘light historical romances’
      • ‘Harlequin romances idealize traditional male and female gender roles and always have a happy ending.’
      • ‘It also posed one of the great unanswered questions of recent film romances - did they meet again?’
      • ‘The author interjects that it would be easy to invent some pre-story reason if the book were a romance.’
      • ‘Her reading consisted of a staple diet of lurid romances and whodunits, and her thoughts tended towards the macabre.’
      • ‘I love to read romances the best but I appreciate classics too.’
      • ‘The film wants to be too many things, simultaneously: a romance, a political thriller, an epic war story, and a tragedy.’
      • ‘If you read teenage romances like ‘Love Stories’ and such, you would notice that the language used is grammatically correct and clean.’
      • ‘They were well-known silent film stars who were married and who often starred in adventure romances together.’
      • ‘Those who despise it either expect it to be a romance or a baseball movie.’
      • ‘Action films from Japan, romances from India, Islamic epics, and detective stories from the United States are popular.’
      • ‘The promotional materials presented the film strictly as a romance with no hint of its political overtones.’
      • ‘I love writing the romances because sex isn't the only part of it.’
      • ‘It does not fall into the tradition of a Hollywood romance.’
      • ‘And if anyone wants to read a really good romance with some mystery, check out Scarab by Penning Fantasy.’
      • ‘Too many movie romances depend on the love story as a function of the plot, rather than giving us two characters who have appealing qualities or who might actually see something in one another.’
      • ‘The film is billed as a romance, but the two travellers spend too long exchanging pleasantries and being nice to each other to get any sparks going.’
      • ‘Sure, you can see the conclusion coming, but most movie romances are predictable in that way.’
      love story
      View synonyms
    4. 1.4 A genre of fiction dealing with love in a sentimental or idealized way.
      ‘wartime passion from the master of romance’
      • ‘Amazon and Simon & Schuster have pegged my book as comic fiction and contemporary romance.’
      • ‘There are birth stories, school stories, food stories, relationship stories, romance and sex and love stories.’
      • ‘Historical fiction varies from campy romance to character studies with imaginative insights more exact than fact.’
      • ‘Is humour considered so base as to rank only among banal genres like romance and horror?’
      • ‘Each of us is drawn to a genre, be it horror, comedy or romance.’
      • ‘There must have been pages upon pages of typewriter paper filled with romance, horror, fantasy and tales of the strange.’
      • ‘Thus, if we are to associate Hawthorne's explanation of sympathy with any genre, it should not be with either romance or sentimental fiction.’
      • ‘You write in several different genres; you've written some science fiction and romance in addition to mystery.’
      • ‘Much the same with horror or science fiction or romance.’
      • ‘I don't particularly care what subject it is, it could be romance, horror, adventure, fantasy etc.’
      • ‘I am a master of romance and I know a lot of secrets from my anime club.’
      • ‘It would be so simple if I wrote crime fiction, or romance, or if I were a reporter.’
      • ‘Much more popular are genres such as crime and adventure, romance, horror, and science fiction.’
  • 2mass noun A quality or feeling of mystery, excitement, and remoteness from everyday life.

    ‘the romance of the sea’
    • ‘Oh, and there is the fact that I no longer travel the world attending academic conferences in search of adventure and romance.’
    • ‘There's a touch of romance about the sea, given that seafaring created the economies and history of the region before the skies took over as the main means of transport.’
    • ‘We all admired the romance and pluck of the South.’
    • ‘Slowly the colours of the day faded and the dark purple of the night crept in, with its eerie sense of romance and evil to it.’
    • ‘Enveloped in romance and mystique, craft beers came into their own between 1987 and 1995.’
    • ‘Travelling by train has always been associated with romance and adventure, and one of the best ways to see the east coast of the States is by doing just that.’
    • ‘Turner was unavoidably saturated in the history and romance of the sea.’
    • ‘On one hand, as Theios observed, Western artists depict the myth and romance of the West and seldom its harsh truths.’
    • ‘The continuing schizophrenia of Partition dictates our collective romance with the border, and the different avatars it assumes within the public sphere.’
    • ‘Unfortunately, though, many do not; in fact, many do the opposite, fostering a mystique and romance about weapons.’
    • ‘Admittedly, the cigarette helped create an aura of mystery and romance even in the very early years of film.’
    • ‘The wrought-iron entrance gates and meandering drive reflect the sense of romance and grandeur that characterized the Roaring Twenties.’
    • ‘What love, what beauty, what romance in the sky - something you'll never find upon this wretched earth.’
    • ‘Foreign reporting has obviously always had an aura of romance and adventure - Christiane Amanpour in a black leather jacket!’
    • ‘With it comes the romance - perceived or otherwise - of a freedom ride at the wheel of an automobile.’
    • ‘The Orient was almost a European invention, and had been since antiquity a place of romance, exotic beings, haunting memories and landscapes, remarkable experiences.’
    • ‘The sky was clear and filled with stars and the fragrance of the white roses drifted through the air, filling the night with mystery and romance.’
    mystery, glamour, excitement, colourfulness, colour, exoticism, mystique
    View synonyms
  • 3A medieval tale dealing with a hero of chivalry, of the kind common in the Romance languages.

    ‘the Arthurian romances’
    • ‘In 1190, no one had ever heard of the Holy Grail: fifty years later, it was a central theme of half a dozen romances, familiar to anyone interested in the stories of Arthur and his knights.’
    • ‘He drew on the classics and on medieval romances.’
    • ‘An object referred to as the grail and later as the Holy Grail occurs in a number of medieval romances written between the end of the twelfth and the end of the thirteenth century.’
    • ‘It may simply be a parody of chivalric romances, as it claims to be.’
    • ‘Cervantes, in Don Quixote, parodies not just the chivalric romances of his day but also its literary structures through a new poetry of language.’
    • ‘Deeper roots can be traced in medieval romances of chivalry.’
    • ‘In an attempt to calm Usher, his friend pulled from the bookcase a second rate medieval romance and began to read aloud.’
    • ‘It is one of the most admired of all Middle English romances nowadays, because of its narrative coherence and life and the sustained interest of its action.’
    • ‘More directly linked to our generic discussion, we should consider the role women have played in romances dating back to the medieval quest romances.’
    • ‘This article intends to trace the Holy Grail theme from a set of motifs in medieval romance to the modern genre of grail literature and to focus on the resulting interface between literary and popular culture.’
    • ‘But if any courtly romances were composed in eleventh-century Britain and Ireland, none survive.’
    • ‘The ancient epic had its counterpart in athletic contests just as the medieval romance had its counterpart in jousts and tournaments between knights.’
    • ‘In most of these romances the grail is a cup used at the Last Supper and there are several actual vessels that claim to be the Holy Grail.’
    • ‘The writers of the time, anxious to please their audience, had developed a new literary form designed to appeal to them, the romance, and had imagined a new set of ideals to create a knightly culture.’
    • ‘She has read some of the chivalric romances and says she can handle it.’
  • 4A work of fiction depicting a setting and events remote from everyday life, especially one of a kind popular in the 16th and 17th centuries.

    ‘Elizabethan pastoral romances’
    • ‘He was paid well for La Galatea, a pastoral romance (a new popular genre); published in 1585.’
  • 5Music
    A short informal piece.

    ‘the romance from The Gadfly became a popular favourite’
    • ‘It is eclectic, melodic, and ranges from imitations of Gregorian chants to mellifluous romances.’
    • ‘His own works, stimulated by the folk music of his native country, include fantasias, romances, and transcriptions, of which Zigeunerweisen, Jota aragonesa, and the four books of Spanish dances are still played.’
    • ‘The eight romances for saxophone and piano are indeed romantic.’
    • ‘The variations for piano and orchestra, on a romance from Morlacci's opera Tebaldo e Isolina, were destined for the court at Parma.’
    • ‘In between, there are virtuoso showpieces, hilarious buffo send-ups, and elegiac romances, all enhanced by imaginative instrumental accompaniments.’


[with object]
  • 1dated Try to gain the love of; court.

    ‘the wealthy estate owner romanced her’
    • ‘She hoped he wasn't going to start romancing her.’
    • ‘But it started with Peterson showing up with champagne and strawberries and really that was the beginning of his romancing her.’
    • ‘It was the time she had first met Duncan, when he had romanced her, flattered her, and pretended that he loved her.’
    court, pay court to, pursue, chase, chase after, run after
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1informal Seek the attention or custom of (someone), especially by the use of flattery.
      ‘he is being romanced by the big boys in New York’
      • ‘‘We romanced the idea of having customers see what's in the store - people and products - when they're not in the store,’ says Zenaide Russack, Canal Jean's manager.’
      • ‘And one of the main reasons is that there are a lot of new voters and naturalized citizens that don't have a tradition of loyalty to either party, therefore, they are open to be convinced or, like I say, open to be romanced.’
    2. 1.2no object Engage in a love affair.
      ‘we started romancing’
      • ‘The smitten couple, who have been romancing for six years, got engaged in March this year in Paris' Eiffel Tower.’
      • ‘Spokespeople for Jennifer and Vince have insisted the pair are not romancing.’
  • 2

    ‘to a certain degree I am romancing the past’
    another term for romanticize


Middle English: from Romance, originally denoting a composition in the vernacular as opposed to works in Latin. Early use denoted vernacular verse on the theme of chivalry; the sense ‘genre centred on romantic love’ dates from the mid 17th century.




Main definitions of romance in English

: romance1Romance2


Pronunciation /rə(ʊ)ˈmans//ˈrəʊmans/


  • Relating to or denoting the group of Indo-European languages descended from Latin, principally French, Spanish, Portuguese, Italian, Catalan, Occitan, and Romanian.

    ‘the Romance languages’
    • ‘Readers who have studied Romance languages other than Romanian will be able to see from the above that there are tantalising similarities between the language and, say, Spanish.’
    • ‘The history of the Middle Ages and the Renaissance shows how stigmatized varieties of Latin came eventually to flower as Romance languages were recognized as legitimate for writing and publication.’
    • ‘In the areas once part of the Roman empire, Latin was effectively the vernacular and it gradually evolved into the various Romance languages of western Europe.’
    • ‘His accent is that of a Romance language, but I don't know.’
    • ‘French is also the lingua franca used to communicate with immigrants, most of whom already know another Romance language.’
    • ‘The use of the German language goes back to the early Middle Ages, when the Alamans invaded lands where Romance languages were developing.’
    • ‘Two of the main regional languages - Catalan and Gallego - are Romance languages that bear some degree of similarity to Castilian.’
    • ‘Cox was a serious amateur philologist and had reading knowledge of the Romance languages along with Hungarian, Polish, Greek and German.’
    • ‘But, he smiled as he studied his vocabulary lists, if his plan was to emigrate out of the Balkans, learning Romance languages would be the way to go.’
    • ‘Although it was influenced linguistically by invaders and neighbours (Turks and Greeks), Romanian is a Romance language, with obvious implications for the character of its folk music.’
    • ‘Now of the Romance languages, French and Portuguese are harder to learn, and so what are the characteristics there that make them less easy to learn than other Romance languages?’
    • ‘And they were our distant brothers and not unlike the Romance languages that you know, the Italians and the Spaniards and the French all come from a Latin derivative or Latin root.’
    • ‘These Romance languages supplanted earlier tribal ones which, except for Basque, have not survived.’
    • ‘In the Romance languages, you ‘exit the room creeping’, ‘cross the river swimming’, and ‘descend the hill limping’.’
    • ‘I was surprised to learn that mere probably comes from Latin merus, though perhaps with some reinforcement from Germanic and Romance sources.’


mass noun
  • The Romance languages considered as a group.

    • ‘Such guidance is simply invaluable to those who face the bewildering inconsistencies in English which Romance, Slav, Germanic and even Hungarian generally lack.’


Middle English (originally denoting the vernacular language of France as opposed to Latin): from Old French romanz, based on Latin Romanicus ‘Roman’.