romantic 1659, "of the nature of a literary romance," from Fr. romantique, from . romant "a romance," oblique case of . romanz "verse narrative" (see romance). As a literary style, opposed to classical since before 1812. Meaning "characteristic of an ideal love affair" (such as usually formed the subject of literary romances) is from 1666. The noun meaning "an adherent of romantic virtues in literature" is from 1827. Romanticism first recorded 1803 as "a romantic idea;" generalized sense of "a tendency toward romantic ideas" is first recorded 1840.