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The Complete Vocabulary Builder Workbook



How to pronounce dilettante (audio)

Dictionary definition of dilettante

A person who cultivates an area of interest without real commitment or knowledge.
"A true dilettante, he hopped from one hobby to the next without mastering any."

Detailed meaning of dilettante

The term can also be used to describe someone who dabbles in a subject without achieving true expertise. It can have a negative connotation, suggesting a lack of dedication or serious study. In other words, a dilettante is a person who engages in an activity without the level of knowledge or skill that would make them an expert. It can also be used to describe someone who is not a professional in a particular field but who engages in the activity as an amateur.

Example sentences containing dilettante

1. The art gallery was full of enthusiasts, critics, and the occasional dilettante.
2. Many viewed him as nothing more than a dilettante in politics.
3. She worried about being labeled a dilettante in the world of classical music.
4. The conference was meant for professionals, not dilettantes.
5. For all his reading, he remained a dilettante at heart.
6. The course was too advanced for a dilettante like me.

History and etymology of dilettante

The noun 'dilettante' has an etymology rooted in Italian and Latin. It is derived from the Italian word 'dilettare,' which means 'to delight' or 'to take pleasure in.' This term is related to the Latin word 'delectare,' which also means 'to delight' or 'to charm.' Over time, in English, 'dilettante' took on a somewhat derogatory connotation, describing a person who dabbles in or cultivates an area of interest without a genuine commitment or deep knowledge. Such individuals may engage in various pursuits for the pleasure or enjoyment they derive from them rather than out of a serious dedication to mastery. The term suggests a certain superficiality or lack of expertise, even though the person may have a genuine passion for the subject. This etymology reflects the dual nature of 'dilettante,' encompassing both the delight and interest in a pursuit and the potential lack of depth or commitment.

Quiz: Find the meaning of dilettante

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Further usage examples of dilettante

1. He dabbled as a dilettante in the arts, never fully committing to any discipline.
2. Dilettantes often get a bad reputation in specialized fields.
3. Some argue that the internet age has given rise to a culture of dilettantes.
4. Her dilettante approach to studying irked her more serious peers.
5. The workshop was a mix of serious practitioners and a handful of dilettantes.
6. In the realm of poetry, it's sometimes hard to distinguish the passionate from the dilettante.
7. Many successful people started as dilettantes before finding their true calling.
8. She bristled at the suggestion that she was a dilettante, citing her years of dedication.
9. The book club had its share of dilettantes, but they added a refreshing perspective.
10. To be a dilettante is not necessarily a bad thing; it can lead to diverse experiences.
11. Critics often dismissed him as a dilettante, unable to see his genuine passion.
12. The seminar was not meant for dilettantes but for those deeply invested in the subject.
13. While some frowned upon the dilettantes in the audience, others welcomed their fresh insights.
14. He's a dilettante in art, dabbling in various styles without mastery.
15. She's a dilettante in music, playing a few instruments casually.
16. The dilettante's superficial knowledge led to errors in the project.
17. Being a dilettante, he never delves deep into any subject.
18. The conference attracted dilettantes rather than experts.
19. His reputation as a dilettante hindered his credibility in academia.
20. The dilettante's lack of dedication showed in his mediocre work.
21. She dismissed him as a dilettante with no real passion.
22. Dilettantes often jump from hobby to hobby without commitment.
23. The dilettante's efforts lacked the depth of a true enthusiast.
24. The team struggled due to the dilettante's lack of expertise.



amateur, expert, professional, specialist


GRE 15 (Graduate Record Examination), SAT 13 (Scholastic Assessment Test), Naivety and Stupidity, Absence and Lack

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