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

An early darling of the Neo-Dada and Pop Art movements, Mr. Johns is both established and cutting-edge. Lance Esplund, WSJ, "‘The Condition of Being Here: Drawings by Jasper Johns’ Review: Willfully Obtuse," 12 Nov. 2018 An early darling on the alternative rock station Live 105, the band returned triumphantly in ’95 to play a free outdoor Justin Herman Plaza show promoted by the FM radio station. Peter Hartlaub, San Francisco Chronicle, "Early photos of Radiohead, at their ‘one-hit-wonder’ first S.F. show," 18 May 2018 Karadima had long been a darling of the Chilean hierarchy, and his victims have accused church leaders of covering up his crimes to protect the church’s reputation. BostonGlobe.com, "Pope admits he made ‘grave errors’ in Chile sex abuse case," 11 Apr. 2018 Karadima had long been a darling of the Chilean hierarchy, and his victims have accused church leaders of covering up his crimes to protect the church's reputation. NBC News, "Pope acknowledges 'grave errors' in Chilean sex abuse scandal," 11 Apr. 2018 No word yet as to which random, somewhat plain wall will be the social-media darling. Dewayne Bevil, OrlandoSentinel.com, "Disney: Toy Story Land is selfie territory," 28 June 2018 That means goodbye for Kamil, Chase, Christian, Darius, Grant, Jake, and my darling Joe. Anna Moeslein, Glamour, "The Bachelorette Season 14 Episode 1 Recap: Becca Kufrin Meets Her Contestants," 28 May 2018 Going for Gold Not all parents want their little darling to win a Fields Medal for mathematics. Erik Vance, Scientific American, "Sorry, Mom and Dad, Toys Cannot Supercharge Your Baby," 15 May 2018 Kill your darlings — and sometimes your favorite TV characters. Sun-Sentinel.com, "TV shows renewed and canceled for 2018-19 season," 12 May 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

12 Mar 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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