Romance is a word of many historical meanings. Starting with the ChivalricRomance, where it meant "work written in the vernacular."

From that, it derived the meaning of tales of drama, adventure, and larger than life characters and often magical elements and strange monsters. Hence, writers speak of Creator/{{Shakespeare}}'s romances, and PlanetaryRomance, and RuritanianRomance. It is the source of the name of {{Romanticism}}.

To this day, "romantic" is used as a contrast to "[[{{Realism}} realistic]]" from the movement. This can reflect anything from pure magic to the use of atypical, exaggerated characters for heroes and villains, clear conflicts, and definite resolutions.

It is also used as a contrast to "classical"; in the tradition of the chivalric romance complicated plot threads and sometimes RandomEventsPlot, it, in this sense, denotes works with a wild miscellany of events, a luxuriant degree of detail and complexity (not necessarily organized), in contrast to an aesthetic of simplicity and purity.

But nowadays, the commonest meaning is that the Romance [[{{Genres}} genre]] is about people falling in love. See RomanceNovel for more and LoveTropes for many tropes typical of this definition.