Definition of amateur in English:



  • 1A person who engages in a pursuit, especially a sport, on an unpaid basis.

    • ‘The professional clubs come in at the third round and this time it will be an open draw, with the amateurs not having to play away.’
    • ‘This is a unique event where the top professionals race against the top amateurs and the top youth.’
    • ‘Last year, junior rider Kate Hart beat the professionals and the top amateurs to earn the victory.’
    • ‘When he got to England, he started as an amateur in rugby league, a version of rugby he was not familiar with.’
    • ‘As an amateur, he fought 72 times, winning 60 bouts, before turning professional in 1997.’
    • ‘Ironically, Beaumont is the amateur on this professional tour.’
    • ‘What we need are boxers that have been amateurs before turning professional.’
    • ‘He is a sports psychologist who works with many of the top pros and amateurs in the country.’
    • ‘The top amateur is recognized with a special green leader's jersey after each stage.’
    • ‘Finally what also makes cycling superior is it is a sport where the amateur can experience almost the same sensations as the professional.’
    • ‘In another key component, the band sponsored a female athlete and an amateur in each sport.’
    • ‘So first off it was probably the top club juniors, then the top amateurs, then, I guess, guys like Faldo and Clarke.’
    • ‘When we competed as amateurs in the Olympics we would practise all year for three or four events.’
    • ‘Yet the wonder of the tour is that even amateurs can take part.’
    • ‘And for the first time there will be cash prizes for the leading players who will join forces with amateurs in the team event.’
    • ‘There will be two qualifying rounds and amateurs will also be invited.’
    • ‘Professionals like to play against amateurs, but are wary of facing too many at once.’
    • ‘As an amateur, Uhalt turned down football scholarship offers to pursue professional baseball.’
    • ‘They insisted they were amateurs, which somehow made it more noble.’
    • ‘This attitude is not just peculiar to high-handicap amateurs but is also prevalent among the top amateurs and professionals.’
    non-professional, non-specialist, layman, layperson
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    1. 1.1A person considered contemptibly inept at a particular activity.
      ‘that bunch of stumbling amateurs’
      • ‘It's also a celebration of the passion for worshipping incompetent amateurs.’
      • ‘Pongratz speaks with admiration of the young performers in this production, no bunch of amateurs.’
      • ‘They are being to made look like amateurs in front of their own fans.’
      • ‘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
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  • 1Engaging or engaged in without payment; nonprofessional.

    ‘an amateur archaeologist’
    ‘amateur athletics’
    • ‘Eliza plans to encourage enthusiasts to set up their own groups, and also will organise training days for budding amateur archaeologists.’
    • ‘Aubrey and Maturin are enthusiastic amateur musicians.’
    • ‘Local amateur radio enthusiasts are to set up a station within the school, giving pupils the opportunity to contact other radio users across the world.’
    • ‘Of the twenty volunteers some are professional railway workers, but most are amateur enthusiasts.’
    • ‘If people knew what was out here, amateur astronomy would be as popular as every other outdoor activity combined.’
    • ‘The amateur enthusiasts are certainly catered for.’
    • ‘He believes the archaeological trust has a major educational role to play - for professional and amateur archaeologists alike.’
    • ‘Hayley, 17, travels up and down the country competing in amateur athletics events, but she is not disabled.’
    • ‘Experts are investigating claims by an amateur archaeologist from Bradford that he has found an important ancient monument on Ilkley Moor.’
    • ‘What does bug me is that the Olympics is no longer about true amateur athletics.’
    • ‘Retirement reawakened enthusiasm for amateur radio, and he was president of the institution for many years.’
    • ‘Today, amateur athletics are a pervasive part of academic institutions across the United States.’
    • ‘The war dominates the lives of an enthusiastic band of amateur archaeologists known as the Diggers.’
    • ‘A propeller-driven plane is witness to the enthusiasm of amateur fliers in the Cotton City.’
    • ‘Paul Burgess and Randy Olson are train enthusiasts and amateur photographers.’
    • ‘This summer, a group of amateur film enthusiasts will embark on its most ambitious project to date.’
    • ‘Colin followed his father and paternal ancestors in being an enthusiastic amateur botanist.’
    • ‘In the absence of payment, amateur reviewers write overwhelmingly about topics they love.’
    • ‘Although player payments could be substantial, an amateur ethos prevailed.’
    • ‘Sports are social events to most of us, either as participants in amateur athletics or as spectators to their professional kin.’
    non-professional, non-specialist, lay
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    1. 1.1Inept or unskillful.
      ‘it's all so amateur!’
      • ‘The content may be excellent, but it is totally obscured by an amateur and clumsy overuse of computerised publishing.’
      • ‘It had made me faster, but even a finely tuned athlete like me couldn't avoid a simple amateur mistake.’
      • ‘Some of the attempts were amateur and romantically inept.’
      • ‘All that after one of the most inept, lacklustre, disgusting, amateur performances in recent times.’
      • ‘It was a clumsy amateur agent who was foolish enough to allow himself to be detected.’
      incompetent, inept, useless, unskilful, inexpert, clumsy, maladroit, gauche, blundering, bungling, bumbling, amateurish, botched, crude
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Late 18th century: from French, from Italian amatore, from Latin amator lover from amare to love.