How is the word `dilettante’ pronounced?

The `i’ in the first syllable and the `e’ in the final syllable are like the `i’ in `pit’, `bit’ and `sit’. The vowel in the second syllable sounds like the `a’ in `china’. The following `a’ is like the `a’ in `ant’, `apple’, and `sat’, and the main stress is on `tant’. This is one way of pronouncing the word.

`Dilettante’ is mostly used in formal contexts and it is used to refer to a person who shows interest in the arts; his knowledge of the subject matter, however, is usually minimal. He is an amateur and very often shows interest in a subject because he wishes to look fashionable. The word is usually used to show disapproval.

*Dilip is a bit of a dilettante as far as Hindustani music is concerned.

 Source: S. Upendran, The Hindu ‘Know Your English’ Series, March 20, 2006. 


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