Meaning "one who cultivates and participates (in something) but does not pursue it professionally or with an eye to gain" (as opposed to professional) is from 1786, often with disparaging shades, "dabbler, dilettante," except in athletics, where the tinge formerly shaded the professional. As an adjective, by 1838.
mid-15c., profeshinalle, in reference to the profession of religious orders; see profession. By 1747 of careers, "pertaining to or appropriate to a profession or calling" (especially of the skilled or learned trades from c. 1793); In sports and amusements, "undertaken or engaged in for money" (opposed to amateur), by 1846. Related: Professionally.
"masquerade, masked ball, festive entertainment in which participants wear a disguising costume," 1510s, from French masque; see mask (n.). It developed a special sense of "amateur theatrical performance" (1560s) in Elizabethan times, when such entertainments (originally performed in masks) were popular among the nobility.
mid-13c., "something heavy; heaviness," from heavy (adj.). Theatrical sense of "villain" is 1880, short for heavy villain (1843), heavy leading man (1849) or similar phrases.
A "heavy business man," he who performs such parts as Ferardo in the Wife, the Ghost in Hamlet, and Malec, Edmund, Banquo, Buckingham and the principal villains of the drama, [will command at present] from $15 to $20 [per week]. ["The Amateur, or Guide to the Stage," Philadelphia, 1851]
genus of parasitic plants native to Java and Sumatra, 1820, named for Sir T. Stamford Raffles (1781-1826), British governor of Sumatra, who introduced it to the West, + abstract noun ending -ia. He reports the native name was petimum sikinlili "Devil's betel-box." Raffles as the typical name of a gentleman who engages in burglary or other crime, an educated renegade, is from A.J. Raffles, hero of "The Amateur Cracksman" (1899) and later books by E.W. Hornung.