en·​dear·​ment | \ in-ˈdir-mənt \

Definition of endearment

1 : a word or an act (such as a caress) expressing affection
2 : the act or process of endearing

Examples of endearment in a Sentence

two lovers whispering endearments to each other

Recent Examples on the Web

Raised in a life of privilege on the Upper East Side across from the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Kennedy went to great lengths to live as any other New Yorker, much to the endearment of the city's denizens. Glynnis Macnicol, Town & Country, "Who Was Carolyn Bessette Kennedy?," 3 Aug. 2016 One term of endearment to one group could be a form of incredible shame and abuse to another. John Brandon, Fox News, "Mark Zuckerberg says AI cannot stop online abuse yet, but experts beg to differ," 23 Apr. 2018 As far as how my look came to be called dewy dumpling, dumpling has always been my term of endearment, the same way people use sweetheart or cupcake. Kathleen Hou, The Cut, "How to Get the New Dewy Dumpling Glow," 23 Apr. 2018 The Enforcer,’’ a term of endearment bestowed by her family. BostonGlobe.com, "George H.W. Bush says to ‘cross the Bushes off your worry list’ following Barbara’s death," 18 Apr. 2018 The winter of their semi-discontent launched Miller's lifetime reputation as America's ultimate, responsibility-free ski bum — a term of sheer endearment to fans. Author: Ron Judd, Anchorage Daily News, "Pioneering, inspiring snow-sports filmmaker Warren Miller, 93, dies at Washington state home," 25 Jan. 2018 The winter of their semi-discontent launched Miller's lifetime reputation as America's ultimate, responsibility-free ski bum -- a term of sheer endearment to fans. The Seattle Times, OregonLive.com, "Warren Miller, pioneering snow-sports filmmaker, dies at 93," 25 Jan. 2018 My daughter is a little girl who regards her father with pure awe and adoration; calling him Daddy is a term of endearment that reflects that. Michelle Ruiz, Vogue, "Can Grown Women Please Cool It With All This “Daddy” Talk?," 19 Sep. 2017 Need grandmothers to participate in an improv engagement, which will help spread Mother's Day cheer through hugs, high fives and other gestures of endearment. Evelyn Wang, Esquire, "A Start-Up Is Dispatching Grandmas to Hug You This Mother's Day," 6 May 2016

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

See More

First Known Use of endearment

1610, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about endearment

Share endearment

Statistics for endearment

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for endearment

The first known use of endearment was in 1610

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for endearment



English Language Learners Definition of endearment

: a word or phrase that shows love or affection


en·​dear·​ment | \ in-ˈdir-mənt \

Kids Definition of endearment

: a word or an act that shows love or affection

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on endearment

Spanish Central: Translation of endearment

Nglish: Translation of endearment for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of endearment for Arabic Speakers

Comments on endearment

What made you want to look up endearment? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


important, real, or meaningful

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Homophone Quiz

  • three-bears-two-of-them-look-like-theyre-whispering-to-a-third-bear-who-looks-chuffed-to-be-the-center-of-attention
  • In order to judge how people felt, the senator's office hired a firm to take a ______.
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?


Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.


Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!