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a love affair.
an illicit or secret love affair.
Contemporary Examples

My three favorite episodes are probably “College,” “Pine Barrens,” and “amour Fou.”
David Chase on Tony Soprano’s Fate, the State of TV, and Why He Couldn’t Finish ‘True Detective’ Marlow Stern September 3, 2014

Shot on location in Greece after amour, it opened in French theaters last week.
Oscar’s 85-Year-Old Darling: A Talk With Emmanuelle Riva of ‘Amour’ Tracy McNicoll February 14, 2013

So, of the nominees, Michael Haneke deserves the award for his understated and masterful direction in amour.
‘Argo,’ ‘Silver Linings Playbook,’ ‘Lincoln’: Who Will Win On Oscar Night? Ramin Setoodeh, Marlow Stern February 19, 2013

The other nominees are the underdogs Michael Haneke (amour) and Benh Zeitlin (Beasts of the Southern Wild).
Oscar’s Best Director: Steven Spielberg vs. David O. Russell Ramin Setoodeh February 6, 2013

In fact, the most difficult part of the wild success of amour lies elsewhere.
Oscar’s 85-Year-Old Darling: A Talk With Emmanuelle Riva of ‘Amour’ Tracy McNicoll February 14, 2013

Historical Examples

Chimne mourns for him: “clate mon amour, tu n’as plus rien craindre.”
The Complete Opera Book Gustav Kobb

Every circumstance attending the amour was soon known to Francisco.
The Pirate and The Three Cutters Frederick Marryat

I believe he has discovered our amour: How he surveys me for a son-in-law!
Dryden’s Works Vol. 3 (of 18) John Dryden

You will acknowledge that to a woman of my age, such an amour must be delicious and unique.
City Crimes Greenhorn

Caution became necessary; and as secrecy adds a charm to an amour, Clara received a long letter and a telescope from Edward.
The Pirate and The Three Cutters Frederick Marryat

a love affair, esp a secret or illicit one

c.1300, “love,” from Old French amour, from Latin amorem (nominative amor) “love, affection, strong friendly feeling” (it could be used of sons or brothers, but especially of sexual love), from amare “to love” (see Amy). The accent shifted 15c.-17c. to the first syllable as the word became nativized, then shifted back as the naughty or intriguing sense became primary and the word was felt to be a euphemism.

A common ME word for love, later accented ámour (cf. enamour). Now with suggestion of intrigue and treated as a F[rench] word. [Weekley]


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    n. 1971, contracted from amino- + oxy- + ending from penicillin.

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