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

Needless to say, the Barea (as the tournament darlings are fondly nicknamed) did not have much of a history with penalty shootouts of such a magnitude as this. SI.com, "AFCON Roundup: Madagascar Continue Fairytale Tournament & Riyad Mahrez Leads Algeria Past Guinea," 8 July 2019 But will the commercial and critical darling continue to appease pundits and fans, alike? Peter Dawson, Houston Chronicle, "Spoiler-free fan reactions to the first episode of 'Stranger Things' Season 3," 5 July 2019 One of the first startup darlings of the great beyond is Sanctuary, a new app that launched earlier this year. Neil Senturia, San Diego Union-Tribune, "The stars are lining up for astrological startups," 17 June 2019 Publishers like BuzzFeed, once the darlings of the media industry, have struggled to find profitable business models. Bloomberg News, The Mercury News, "Buzzfeed workers walk out to force union recognition," 17 June 2019 The darling of the new XPS 13 2-in-1 is Intel’s 10th-gen Core i7-1065 G7 processor. Gordon Mah Ung, PCWorld, "Hands-on: Dell's XPS 13 2-in-1 gets thinner and 2.5x faster with Intel's 10th Core i7," 28 May 2019 The design world darling is well known for his deft handling of historic properties. Olivia Martin, Town & Country, "This Upper East Side Townhouse Is Brimming With Bespoke Furniture and French Antiques," 25 Jan. 2019 The former Disney channel darling launched her line, Filthy Fangs, this past weekend with two eye shadow palettes, both of which sold out the first day, according to Thorne. Kaleigh Fasanella, Allure, "Bella Thorne Is Getting Backlash Over Her New Makeup Brand Filthy Fangs," 13 Aug. 2018 No, dear parents, your darling daughter hasn't decided what to do with her life. Dorany Pineda, latimes.com, "Holly Prado, poet who championed L.A.’s literary scene, dies at 81," 25 June 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

16 Jul 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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