Definition of romantic in US English:



  • 1Conducive to or characterized by the expression of love.

    ‘a romantic candlelit dinner’
    • ‘Should you go for the same old dozen red roses, a box of chocolates and dinner out in a romantic eatery?’
    • ‘She rifled through her lover's credit-card receipts and found charges for bouquets of flowers and dinners at romantic restaurants.’
    • ‘She was absolutely delighted, but at the same time puzzled, that he asked her to dinner on such a romantic night.’
    • ‘Oh how I would love to be able to take her on a romantic walk in the park, or for a candlelit dinner.’
    • ‘On our last evening in Maui, Daniel had prepared a very romantic, candlelit dinner on the shore.’
    • ‘With white lights twinkling around the street-facing windows, a single red rose on our table and the candle lamp glowing between us, our fondue dinner felt almost romantic.’
    • ‘Idea of a romantic evening: I love nice, quiet dinners either at home or where there is a beautiful view of a mountainside, beach or even the city skyline.’
    • ‘Dining on the results by candlelight, drawn even closer together by adversity - one of the most romantic dinners we'd ever had.’
    • ‘A beautiful woman, home alone, begins to set the dinner table for a romantic meal: candles, roses, a bottle of champagne.’
    • ‘But it isn't really flowers and candlelight and love songs that are romantic.’
    • ‘Yet when they feel like it, they make sure they get one of the few two-person tables at dinner for a romantic meal.’
    amorous, intimate, passionate
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    1. 1.1 (of a person) readily demonstrating feelings of love.
      ‘he's very handsome, and so romantic’
      • ‘He gave the impression of being a romantic rebel rather than a person of prime ministerial stature.’
      • ‘Oh god, I was turning into another romantic git.’
      • ‘It's just I would like to be a really romantic guy and if I'm going to devote myself to a girl, then I'm going to devote myself completely.’
      • ‘He struck me as a sincere and romantic person that hadn't had the chance to find love and instead had enjoyed the attention the women had lavished on him.’
      • ‘One sip and you know why romantic women fall in love with dark, pensive strangers.’
      • ‘He was an old romantic fool at heart, that one, and he believed in marriage as a legally binding and not even entirely necessary act between soul mates.’
      • ‘Really - because she's elegant and she's romantic and sophisticated and polished, and she loves fashion.’
      • ‘Mum used to say he was a very romantic person, but he may not have been in the family long, because he wasn't much of a fatherly person.’
      • ‘Nevertheless, James and Sylvia's connection counts as a love story, running as deep as any other romantic couple's, only in a different direction.’
      amorous, intimate, passionate
      loving, amorous, passionate, tender, tender-hearted, fond, affectionate
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    2. 1.2 Relating to love or to sexual relationships.
      ‘after their romantic relationship ended they became great friends’
      ‘her romantic adventures’
      ‘romantic fiction’
      • ‘She never married and seems to have avoided romantic entanglements.’
      • ‘She has repeatedly denied any romantic relationship with her former boss.’
      • ‘Romantic complications arise when Erica is also pursued by Harry's charming 30-something doctor.’
      • ‘She struck up a romantic relationship with a young Italian man living in the apartment below and made friends easily.’
      • ‘Thus began an on-again, off-again romantic relationship that culminated in their marriage on January 17, 1985.’
      • ‘He wouldn't have wanted people to know about his lovers, about his romantic life.’
      • ‘His social diary was crammed but on the romantic front he was making no headway at all.’
      • ‘I was a basketball player, not a stupid girl with romantic attachments.’
      • ‘Do you work in a laid-back office where people wouldn't really care about what you do with your romantic life?’
      • ‘In the course of their investigation, Berlin begins to develop a romantic attachment to Helena.’
      • ‘A young sea captain's future is transformed as he encounters mutiny, adventure and a beautiful fugitive in this romantic thriller set during an epic voyage to Shanghai.’
      • ‘But why is this behaviour acceptable in friendships but not romantic relationships?’
      sexual, intimate, erotic, amorous, amatory, sensual, carnal, ardent
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  • 2Of, characterized by, or suggestive of an idealized view of reality.

    ‘a romantic attitude toward the past’
    ‘some romantic dream of country peace’
    • ‘Nothing will bring a romantic dreamer down to reality faster than the bug, and every biting insect seems to visit us in turn.’
    • ‘These and other documentaries take the shape of his romantic worldview: idealised individuals try to overcome something or make order from chaos.’
    • ‘I concluded that many historians and political scientists have an overly simple and romantic view of the political process.’
    • ‘As an historian - certainly as a woman - she had not the slightest romantic illusions about the realities of human life during the long childhood of the species.’
    • ‘At the same time, he has no romantic illusions about mobsters.’
    • ‘When you view something in a romantic way, you're not really taking in the whole picture.’
    • ‘I appreciate your romantic view of things, but can you address the issues in the article?’
    • ‘This is not only a romantic attitude, it is also a faith that good work will be responded to and rewarded somehow.’
    • ‘Young clerks and farmers believed the romantic dream of the self-made man and refashioned themselves as rugged individualists armed and equipped for a fresh start in the frontier west.’
    • ‘But I'm struck by what seems to be a romantic view of the designer as the one who does the typography - as opposed to the one who has the idea.’
    • ‘In contrast to liberty, equality is an almost intangible romantic dream, to be realized sometime in the future.’
    • ‘Some seek to resurrect old systems of local government that may have had some utility in the past - in reality or in romantic imagination.’
    • ‘The sly hint is that this belongs - like so many 1960s attitudes - back in the romantic 1840s of an idealistic, bygone century.’
    • ‘When she turns to poetry for children, there is a strain of romantic idealism as she suggests the beauty of uncrowded nature.’
    • ‘As in the other group portraits of children discussed above, the romantic view of childhood is a major theme of the latter work.’
    • ‘‘So good to see that your romantic idealism hasn't faded,’ Noelle murmured.’
    idyllic, picturesque, fairy-tale
    idealistic, idealized, unrealistic, head-in-the-clouds, out of touch with reality
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  • 3Relating to or denoting the artistic and literary movement of romanticism.

    ‘the romantic tradition’
    • ‘In addition to these critical omissions, most major Italian Romantic texts barely circulate outside of Italy.’
    • ‘Her colours, particularly in Romantic and French Impressionistic repertoire, were quite scintillating.’
    • ‘Perhaps more than any other Romantic composer, Berlioz found inspiration for his music in literature.’
    • ‘This survey of British Romantic poet and painter William Blake includes more than 200 works.’
    • ‘Under the influence of what is conventionally called the Romantic movement, a new interest in history and the arts of the past took shape.’
    • ‘Today's collectors are drawn to both period and contemporary fantasy paintings, drawings and prints in this Romantic mode.’
    • ‘It has become in my mind the archetypal Romantic piano concerto.’
    • ‘He preferred to start again, with the result that he produced one of the finest concerti of the Romantic era.’
    • ‘Beethoven delighted Rousseau's Romantic admirers with his demonstration of the moral force expressible in music.’
    • ‘Scribe must also be seen in terms of the wider Romantic movement.’
    • ‘It is not surprising that Frost, well grounded in Romantic tradition, would blend seriousness and play in the epiphanic quest.’
    • ‘One of the beacons of the Romantic reform movement, Hugo was among the most fervent partisans of English drama during the Restoration period in France.’


  • 1A person with romantic beliefs or attitudes.

    ‘I am an incurable romantic’
    • ‘I'm trying to say that I didn't mean anything by saying girls are helpless romantics but it is true, mind you.’
    • ‘‘We were considered the clowns, the dreamers, the romantics,’ he adds.’
    • ‘The desert has inspired romantics for centuries and a dinner at sundown with the gentle breezes of the open desert, with just the stars and the setting sun for company is an experience.’
    • ‘But who are the romantics out there who believe true love can survive in the face of the new social construct of independence?’
    • ‘True romantics have the right attitude; and use imagination to cultivate loving, sensual relationships.’
    • ‘This is a beautiful record for hopeless romantics and dreamers - don't let the cynics tell you otherwise.’
    • ‘The realist - the cynic, if you will - knows that they're more likely to break your heart than transform your life - and that romantics are only destined to be forever disappointed.’
    • ‘‘Despite society's best efforts - or perhaps because of them - most teenagers are romantics at heart,’ Anne replied calmly.’
    • ‘And so we both call ourselves hopeless romantics and decided that that would be a perfect title for this album.’
    idealist, sentimentalist, romanticist
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  • 2A writer or artist of the romantic movement.

    ‘Wordsworth, Coleridge, and the later romantics’
    • ‘The Romantics turned self-destruction into a literary convention, further weakening the stigma attached to the act.’
    • ‘The English Romantics - Samuel Coleridge in particular - imported many of these new German ideas to Britain.’
    • ‘They prepared the way for the Romantics to take up poetry as prophecy, the poet as prophet.’
    • ‘The love of irony, of contradiction and the strange, founds and haunts modern literature, beginning with the German Romantics.’
    • ‘This is the literary culture within which the Romantics assume their dominant position in literary history.’
    • ‘Not necessarily, for ever since the time of the Romantics, some have argued that the realm of the spirit belongs not to God but to the individual imagination.’
    • ‘Collins says that the Romantics taught us to look for and to believe in the poet behind the words.’
    • ‘By contrast, the French Romantics were fascinated by the figure of the obsessed alchemist.’
    • ‘Writers like the Romantics, who found mystery in the commonplace and saw the universal in each individual's experience, remind us to hope.’
    • ‘Using the language of the Romantics or the Victorian poets, as so many Indo-English poets have done and still do, is disastrous.’
    • ‘But Romantics, and modernists after them, needed to believe that genius in its own time is always neglected, misunderstood, etc.’
    • ‘Artists in both movements were social realists, with the Romantics known for recovering older forms and the Victorians known for highly elaborate language.’
    • ‘The mixing of different art forms was held in high esteem by the Romantics, who coined the term synaesthesia for such combinations.’


Mid 17th century (referring to the characteristics of romance in a narrative): from archaic romaunt ‘tale of chivalry’, from an Old French variant of romanz (see romance).