darling

noun
dar·​ling | \ ˈdär-liŋ \

Definition of darling

 (Entry 1 of 3)

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

darling

adjective

Definition of darling (Entry 2 of 3)

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

Darling

geographical name
Dar·​ling | \ ˈdär-liŋ \

Definition of Darling (Entry 3 of 3)

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

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Other Words from darling

Adjective

darlingly \ ˈdär-​liŋ-​lē \ adverb
darlingness noun

Synonyms & Antonyms for darling

Synonyms: Noun

fave, favorite, minion, pet, preference, speed

Synonyms: Adjective

beloved, cherished, dear, fair-haired, favored, favorite, fond, loved, pet, precious, special, sweet, white-headed

Antonyms: Adjective

unbeloved

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Did You Know?

Noun

The origins of "darling" can be found in the very heart of the English language; its earliest known uses can be traced back to Old English writings from the 9th century. Old English "deorling" 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"). English speakers appear to have developed a fondness for "darling" and have held on to it for over a thousand years now. And though its spelling has changed over time - including variations such as "dyrling," "derlinge," and "dearling" - "darling" has maintained its original sense of "one dearly loved."

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.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Breaking Bad was a record-breaking critical darling by the time its finale aired in 2013. Megan Farokhmanesh, The Verge, "Vince Gilligan is writing a Breaking Bad sequel film starring Aaron Paul," 7 Nov. 2018 The Tina Fey co-created series, which has earned 16 Emmy nominations thus far (including nods for stars Ellie Kemper, Jane Krakowski, and Tituss Burgess), has been nothing short of an Internet darling. Aly Semigran, Billboard, "The 10 Best Musical Moments From 'Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt'," 30 May 2018 And even though Denis has long been a critical darling, her star is getting most of the raves. Chris Foran, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "'Solo: A Star Wars Story' lands in theaters; the Ramones and Indiana Jones do, too," 24 May 2018 Shake uploaded her first songs to Soundcloud just two years ago—the 20-year-old raspy-voiced rapper is now signed to GOOD Music (Kanye West’s Def Jam imprint) and has been embraced by a number of the fashion world’s underground critical darlings. Rachel Hahn, Vogue, "070 Shake Talks About Her Tomboyish Style—And Her Signature Dog Chain," 14 Apr. 2018 The third declared contender, Friedrich Merz, 62, was once a darling of the CDU’s conservative wing. Andrea Thomas, WSJ, "Three Candidates Seek to Succeed Merkel at Helm of Party," 30 Oct. 2018 Labor Day 2018: The Rams, defending NFC West champs, are darlings. Seattle Times Sports Staff, The Seattle Times, "What the national media are saying about the Seahawks entering 2018," 4 Sep. 2018 Say hello to Microsoft, the 1990s home-computing powerhouse that is having a renaissance moment – eclipsing Facebook, Google, Amazon and the other tech darlings of the late decade. Matt O'brien, The Seattle Times, "Apple’s stock sours, Microsoft’s soars. Say what?!," 27 Nov. 2018 Remember that the darling of the left, Mario Cuomo, added more prison beds as New York governor than all of his predecessors had combined. Neil Swidey, BostonGlobe.com, "How Democrats would be better off if Bill Clinton had never been president," 10 July 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

Across the way is the most darling wood-burning stove—plus solar, water, battery, and load meters. Taysha Murtaugh, Country Living, "Just Wait Until You See the Inside of This Horse Truck-Turned-Tiny Home," 4 May 2017

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

Noun

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

Adjective

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for darling

Noun

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

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Dictionary Entries near darling

dark whites

darky

Darlan

darling

Darling

Darling lily

Darling pea

Statistics for darling

Last Updated

15 Jan 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for darling

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

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More Definitions for darling

darling

noun

English Language Learners Definition of darling

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: a person you love very much

: a kind and helpful person

: someone who is liked very much by a person or group

darling

adjective

English Language Learners Definition of darling (Entry 2 of 2)

: greatly loved

: very pleasing or attractive

darling

noun
dar·​ling | \ ˈdär-liŋ \

Kids Definition of darling

 (Entry 1 of 2)

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

darling

adjective

Kids Definition of darling (Entry 2 of 2)

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

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More from Merriam-Webster on darling

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with darling

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for darling

Spanish Central: Translation of darling

Nglish: Translation of darling for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of darling for Arabic Speakers

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