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Amoretto on a church in Bavaria.


An Italian diminutive of Amore, the god of love.


amoretto (plural amorettos or amoretti)

  1. (in art) A cupid or putto (representation of a naked baby or small child, often with wings).
    • 1622, Henry Peacham, The Compleat Gentleman, London: Francis Constable, Chapter 12, “Andreas Orgagna,” p. 131,[1]
      One of his best peeces he wrought in Pisa, which was all sorts of worldly and sensuall Epicures, rioting and banquetting vnder the shaddow of an Orenge tree, within the branches and bowes whereof, sly little Amorettos or Cupids, shooting at sundry Ladies lasciuiously dancing and dallying amongst them []
    • 1936, Jeffery Farnol, A Pageant of Victory, London: Sampson Low, Marston, Chapter 8,[2]
      [] a golden Eden of Joy, of bliss and marital raptures surrounded by choiring throngs of rosy amoretti []
    • 1969, Kurt Vonnegut, Slaughterhouse-Five, New York: Dial, 2005, Chapter 6, p. 192,[3]
      He was enchanted by the architecture of the city. Merry amoretti wove garlands above windows.
  2. A love poem.
    Amoretti — a set of sonnets by Edmund Spenser describing his courtship and marriage (1595).
    • 1623, Samuel Purchas, The Kings Towre and Triumphant Arch of London: A sermon preached at Pauls Crosse, August 5. 1622, London, p. 19,[4]
      [] he hath espoused vs to him for euer. How doth hee himselfe sing his Amoretti, if not Epithalamion, his loues, in that Song of Songs? how did hee put on our nature, in his Incarnation, to woo vs?
  3. A male sweetheart, lover.
    • 1614, Stephen Jerome, Seauen Helpes to Heauen, London: Roger Jackson, p. 339,[5]
      What is Life, and the best things in life, with which her Amorettoes and Idolatrous Adorers are so delighted?
    • 1654, Edmund Gayton, Pleasant Notes upon Don Quixot, London, Notes vpon Book II. Chap. IV, p. 47,[6]
      The Amoretto was wont to take his stand at one place about the pew, where sate his Mistresse, who was a very attentive hearer of the man above her, and the sutor was as diligent an eyer of her, for having a book, and black-lead pen alwaies in his hand, (as if he took notes of the sermon) at last he got her exact picture.
    • 1691, Anthony à Wood, Athenæ Oxonienses, London: Thomas Bennet, Volume 1, p. 289,[7]
      For so it fell out, that he being deeply in love with a certain Woman, had for his Rival a bawdy serving man, one rather fit to be a Pimp, than an ingenious Amoretto as Marlo conceived himself to be.


See also[edit]