An amateur is a person who does something for enjoyment, not money, like an amateur who paints as a hobby but earns a living another way.

The adjective amateur often describes a pastime, like an amateur sports league that people join to get exercise and socialize together. Or it can have a negative meaning and describe something that's poorly done. If your guests leave your dinner table and stop for fast food on the way home, you may be ashamed of your amateur cooking skills. Amateur originated as a French word, meaning "lover of," not "expert."

Definitions of amateur

n someone who pursues a study or sport as a pastime

bird watcher, birder
a person who identifies and studies birds in their natural habitats
dabbler, dilettante, sciolist
an amateur who engages in an activity without serious intentions and who pretends to have knowledge
a person who pursues an activity in their spare time for pleasure
Type of:
individual, mortal, person, somebody, someone, soul
a human being

n an athlete who does not play for pay

pro, professional
an athlete who plays for pay
outdoor man, sporting man
someone who enjoys outdoor activities
Type of:
athlete, jock
a person trained to compete in sports

adj engaged in as a pastime

“an amateur painter”
“gained valuable experience in amateur theatricals”
recreational, unpaid
not professional; not engaged in a profession or engaging in as a profession or for gain

adj lacking professional skill or expertise

amateurish, inexpert, unskilled
not characteristic of or befitting a profession or one engaged in a profession

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