dar·​ling | \ ˈdär-liŋ How to pronounce darling (audio) \

Definition of darling

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : a dearly loved person
2 : favorite a director who is the darling of the critics



Definition of darling (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : dearly loved : favorite
2 : very pleasing : charming

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Other Words from darling


darlingly \ ˈdär-​liŋ-​lē How to pronounce darling (audio) \ adverb
darlingness noun

Synonyms & Antonyms for darling

Synonyms: Noun

Synonyms: Adjective

Antonyms: Adjective

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Darling comes from Old English dēorling, which was formed by attaching the Old English suffix -ling ("one associated with or marked by a specified quality") with the adjective dēore, the ancestor of our adjective dear ("regarded very affectionately or fondly," "highly valued or esteemed," "beloved").

Examples of darling in a Sentence

Noun She was mother's little darling. for a while that candidate was the darling of the news media and could do no wrong Adjective This is my darling daughter, Sara. That dress is just darling.
Recent Examples on the Web: Noun The panic over Ma has cast a spotlight on the tense environment in China’s tech industry, which just a few years ago was the darling of Beijing officials and international investors. Washington Post, 5 May 2022 The Wildcats were already a darling of the computer rankings with KenPom.comslotting them third nationally and the NCAA’s NET metric ranking them fifth. Reina Kempt, The Courier-Journal, 17 Mar. 2022 The latter, a niche series of British gangster movies, isn’t exactly a critical darling, but has a rabid fanbase, with each title doing gangbusters for Signature in home entertainment and streaming. Manori Ravindran, Variety, 4 Feb. 2022 Within an eight-year time span, the athletic apparel company raised $100 million in VC funding, quickly becoming the de rigueur startup darling. Nimah Quadri, Fortune, 12 Apr. 2022 His metamorphosis from liberal darling to conservative leader was part of an unusual route to South Korea’s presidential Blue House, a rise whose aftershocks will recast how Seoul approaches foreign policy, fuels its economy and advocates for women. Dasl Yoon And Timothy W. Martin, WSJ, 10 Mar. 2022 Wrong About was on an ascent of sorts: an underground indie darling that was now on a trajectory toward something much larger. Nicholas Quah, Vulture, 21 Oct. 2021 In a video for TIME, Clemens reflected on his journey from just starting out to becoming a bona fide designer darling. Bianca Betancourt, Harper's BAZAAR, 17 Feb. 2021 Demi Burnett, who was a thorn in her cast's side before becoming a Bachelor Nation darling, also made it to the sixth episode on Colton Underwood's season. Martha Sorren, refinery29.com, 18 Jan. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective Widen your horizons with a red Breton stripe, like this one with a darling bow toe at the back. Sophie Dweck, Town & Country, 2 May 2022 While out in London today, Olivia Wilde wore a beanie, red Northface x Gucci puffer coat, spandex, New Balance sneakers, and a darling blue sweatshirt with a cartoon frog and the word Pleasing emblazoned on its chest. Liana Satenstein, Vogue, 11 Apr. 2022 But perhaps the most noteworthy feature of the spring- and summer-friendly piece are the darling faux pearl buttons at the bodice that add a charming touch to the entire number. Sophie Dweck, Town & Country, 25 Mar. 2022 Nothing says spring like pastel hues, and this baby-yellow, fur trim cardigan is too darling to pass up. Danielle Directo-meston, The Hollywood Reporter, 24 Mar. 2022 In addition to the new boss, this Window Shop experience features the charming Elana Scherr, the endearing Jonathon Ramsey, the darling K.C. Colwell, and some guy who has never ever been hired by Car and Driver. John Pearley Huffman, Car and Driver, 25 Feb. 2022 Ahead, find out where to buy XXL scrunchies that are equal parts cool and darling. Erin Parker, Glamour, 17 Feb. 2022 Prince William and Kate Middleton posted the shot, which of course includes a darling Princess Charlotte too, to Instagram. Abby Gardner, Glamour, 17 Dec. 2020 The darling decor, showcased as a series of snapshots posted to her Instagram Story yesterday, gives off the same boho-chic vibes as the rest of her Manhattan apartment. Chelsey Sanchez, Harper's BAZAAR, 8 Dec. 2020 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'darling.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of darling


before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1


15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for darling


Middle English derling, from Old English dēorling, from dēore dear

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Time Traveler for darling

Time Traveler

The first known use of darling was before the 12th century

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Last Updated

21 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Darling.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/darling. Accessed 26 May. 2022.

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More Definitions for darling


dar·​ling | \ ˈdär-liŋ How to pronounce darling (audio) \

Kids Definition of darling

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : a dearly loved person
2 : favorite entry 1 He is the darling of golf fans.



Kids Definition of darling (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : dearly loved Come here, darling child.
2 : very pleasing : charming a darling little house

Darling geographical name

Dar·​ling | \ ˈdär-liŋ How to pronounce Darling (audio) \

Definition of Darling

river 1702 miles (2738 kilometers) long in southeastern Australia in Queensland and New South Wales flowing southwest into the Murray River

More from Merriam-Webster on darling

Nglish: Translation of darling for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of darling for Arabic Speakers


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