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The word amateur has at least two connotations. In the first, more widely used manner, it means someone performing some task without pay, in contrast to a "professional[?]" who would be paid for the same task. In this sense, labeling someone an "amateur" can have a negative connotation. For example, amateur athletes in sports such as baseball or football would not be regarded as having ability on par with professional athletes in those sports.

The other, perhaps somewhat obsolete usage, stems from the Latin root of the word meaning a "lover of". In this sense, an amateur may be as competent as a paid professional, yet is motivated by a love or passion for the activity. For example, see Wikipedia.

See also hobby.

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