darling

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

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 How to pronounce Darling (audio) \

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 How to pronounce darlingly (audio) \ 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

For more than half a century, cinephiles and silver-screen darlings have flocked to the Cannes Film Festival, which debuts the biggest and most boundary-pushing new films of note. Calin Van Paris, Vogue, "21 Iconic Cannes Beauty Moments: From Kate Moss to Kristen Stewart," 10 May 2019 Aiming to knock down Laura Moser, a progressive Democrat and darling of the resistance who was running for Congress in Texas’s 7th Congressional District, the DCCC published a savage list of reasons Texans shouldn’t vote for her. Rebecca Nelson, Marie Claire, "Party Crashers: These Female Candidates Are Shaking Up The Midterms," 2 Nov. 2018 There are many different ways to reach the same outcome, Capricorn darling, so let your intuition be your compass. Aliza Kelly Faragher, Allure, "What October's Capricorn Horoscope Means for You," 30 Sep. 2018 With more than two decades of experience, the actress, author, and fashion darling has made a career of taking on unconventional characters and making them entirely believable. Adam Rathe, Town & Country, "The Original Preppy Murder: Chloë Sevigny Takes the Lead in Her New Film About Lizzie Borden," 27 June 2018 Some institutions will be shielded from the decline—most obviously the major players and media darlings such as Ivy League institutions and major public institutions like the University of Texas at Austin. Adam Harris, The Atlantic, "Here’s How Higher Education Dies," 5 June 2018 Here’s a prediction: Get ready for Fountain and Cain to become training camp and preseason darlings. Stephen Holder, Indianapolis Star, "Colts observations: Revamped O line in action, receivers battling," 23 May 2018 Justin Trudeau, the liberal darling and prime minister of Canada, kicked off an embarrassing cultural appropriation scandal by wearing a series of traditional costumes on a recent trip to India. John Kass, chicagotribune.com, "My wife loves the royal wedding, and there’s nothing I can do," 16 May 2018 Others were simply overjoyed at the darling reveal and couldn't resist sharing their excitement with the Twittersphere. Nicole Saunders, Harper's BAZAAR, "Baby Sussex Made His Official Debut and Twitter Collectively Lost Its Mind," 8 May 2019

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

4 Jun 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
informal : very pleasing or attractive

darling

noun
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.

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

Comments on darling

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