Definition of amateur in US English:

amateur

noun

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

    • ‘As an amateur, Uhalt turned down football scholarship offers to pursue professional baseball.’
    • ‘The top amateur is recognized with a special green leader's jersey after each stage.’
    • ‘Last year, junior rider Kate Hart beat the professionals and the top amateurs to earn the victory.’
    • ‘There will be two qualifying rounds and amateurs will also be invited.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Ironically, Beaumont is the amateur on this professional tour.’
    • ‘This attitude is not just peculiar to high-handicap amateurs but is also prevalent among the top amateurs and professionals.’
    • ‘They insisted they were amateurs, which somehow made it more noble.’
    • ‘As an amateur, he fought 72 times, winning 60 bouts, before turning professional in 1997.’
    • ‘And for the first time there will be cash prizes for the leading players who will join forces with amateurs in the team event.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘What we need are boxers that have been amateurs before turning professional.’
    • ‘Professionals like to play against amateurs, but are wary of facing too many at once.’
    • ‘This is a unique event where the top professionals race against the top amateurs and the top youth.’
    • ‘When he got to England, he started as an amateur in rugby league, a version of rugby he was not familiar with.’
    • ‘Finally what also makes cycling superior is it is a sport where the amateur can experience almost the same sensations as the professional.’
    • ‘Yet the wonder of the tour is that even amateurs can take part.’
    • ‘He is a sports psychologist who works with many of the top pros and amateurs in the country.’
    non-professional, non-specialist, layman, layperson
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    1. 1.1 A person considered contemptibly inept at a particular activity.
      ‘that bunch of stumbling amateurs’
      • ‘They are being to made look like amateurs in front of their own fans.’
      • ‘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
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adjective

  • 1Engaging or engaged in without payment; nonprofessional.

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

Late 18th century: from French, from Italian amatore, from Latin amator ‘lover’, from amare ‘to love’.

Pronunciation