love

noun
\ˈləv \

Definition of love 

(Entry 1 of 2)

1a(1) : strong affection for another arising out of kinship or personal ties maternal love for a child

(2) : attraction based on sexual desire : affection and tenderness felt by lovers After all these years, they are still very much in love.

(3) : affection based on admiration, benevolence, or common interests love for his old schoolmates

b : an assurance of affection give her my love

2 : warm attachment, enthusiasm, or devotion love of the sea

3a : the object of attachment, devotion, or admiration baseball was his first love

b(1) : a beloved person : darling often used as a term of endearment

(2) British used as an informal term of address

4a : unselfish loyal and benevolent (see benevolent sense 1a) concern for the good of another: such as

(1) : the fatherly concern of God for humankind

(2) : brotherly concern for others

b : a person's adoration of God

5 : a god (such as Cupid or Eros) or personification of love

6 : an amorous episode : love affair

7 : the sexual embrace : copulation

8 : a score of zero (as in tennis)

9 capitalized, Christian Science : god

at love

: holding one's opponent scoreless in tennis

in love

: inspired by affection

love

verb
\ˈləv \
loved; loving

Definition of love (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

1 : to hold dear : cherish

2a : to feel a lover's passion, devotion, or tenderness for

b(1) : caress

(2) : to fondle amorously

(3) : to copulate with

3 : to like or desire actively : take pleasure in loved to play the violin

4 : to thrive in the rose loves sunlight

intransitive verb

: to feel affection or experience desire

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Synonyms & Antonyms for love

Synonyms: Noun

affection, attachment, devotedness, devotion, fondness, passion

Synonyms: Verb

appreciate, cherish, prize, treasure, value

Antonyms: Noun

abomination, hate, hatred, loathing, rancor

Antonyms: Verb

disvalue

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Examples of love in a Sentence

Noun

Mr. Brown seems to imply that when he retired he relinquished her love as casually as he dispensed with her secretarial services. — Ken Follett, New York Times Book Review, 27 Dec. 1987 … Eddie sees Vince's pure love of pool, and after years of thinking of the game as merely a hustle, the older man suddenly falls back in love with the game himself. — Maureen Dowd, New York Times Magazine, 28 Sept. 1986 Aunt Polly knelt down and prayed for Tom so touchingly, so appealingly, and with such measureless love in her words and her old trembling voice, that he was weltering in tears again, long before she was through. — Mark Twain, Tom Sawyer, 1876 Allworthy thus answered: " … I have always thought love the only foundation of happiness in a married state, as it can only produce that high and tender friendship which should always be the cement of this union … " — Henry Fielding, Tom Jones, 1749 Children need unconditional love from their parents. He was just a lonely man looking for love.

Verb

People loved him for his brashness and talent, his crazy manglings of the English language, his brawling, boyish antics … and I loved him, too, I loved him as much as anyone in the world. — Paul Auster, Granta, Winter 1994 Lying awake, listening to the sound of his father's breathing, he knew there was no one in the world he loved so much. — William Maxwell, New Yorker, 15 May 1989 I love either rushing off into abstractions, or shamelessly talking personalities. — Elizabeth Bowen, letter, 28 Apr. 1923 "Nay," said Elizabeth, "this is not fair. You wish to think all the world respectable, and are hurt if I speak ill of any body. I only want to think you perfect, and you set yourself against it. Do not be afraid of my running into any excess, of my encroaching on your privilege of universal good will. You need not. There are few people whom I really love, and still fewer of whom I think well." — Jane Austen, Pride and Prejudice, 1813 She obviously loves her family very much. You have to love in order to be loved. He swore that he loved her madly. She said she could never marry a man she didn't love.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Loving The Palm Beaches means loving every bit, and bite, of them. Condé Naste Traveler: Post, "Where Beachside Luxury Meets Sublime Cuisine," 26 Oct. 2018 But even the top rewards cards need an update now and then—and this reboot of the AmEx Gold delivers perks that foodies and travelers will love. Ryan Craggs, Condé Nast Traveler, "The New American Express Gold Card Stacks Up Against the Best Travel Credit Cards," 4 Oct. 2018 Torcal's style is very colorful and striking, which Sönmez loved and felt would fit well with her mission. Tyra Nicole Triche, Chicago Reader, "Arts / Immigration / Visual Art Love letters to the United States from immigrants are being left across Chicago," 10 July 2018 Patrick loved baseball, chicken parmesan with spaghetti, and making other people laugh. Erin Mccarthy, Philly.com, "Jimi Patrick: A funny, hardworking person who lived to help others," 13 July 2018 Sommeliers in particular loved the wine, almost as an antidote to Parker’s excesses. Patrick Comiskey, latimes.com, "Why you should be drinking Gamay Noir this summer," 11 July 2018 Regan loved tools, and kept his chisels and planes razor sharp. Anne M. Hamilton, courant.com, "He Brought His Skill For Teaching, Knack For Colonial Buildings To Coventry," 15 July 2018 But Shepherd loves living in Indiana, and thinks nothing of practicing in the snow, wearing layers of clothing and a ski mask. Clifton Brown, Indianapolis Star, "Center Grove's Erica Shepherd looking for repeat junior title, LPGA future," 14 July 2018 To recover, Mehta loves to eat Pho or chicken and vegetables. Laura Schwecherl, SELF, "13 Athletes Share How They Recover After a Tough Workout," 14 July 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'love.' 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 love

Noun

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

Verb

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

History and Etymology for love

Noun

Middle English, from Old English lufu; akin to Old High German luba love, Old English lēof dear, Latin lubēre, libēre to please

Verb

see love entry 1

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More Definitions for love

love

noun

English Language Learners Definition of love

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: a feeling of strong or constant affection for a person

: attraction that includes sexual desire : the strong affection felt by people who have a romantic relationship

: a person you love in a romantic way

love

verb

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

: to feel great affection for (someone) : to feel love for (someone)

: to feel sexual or romantic love for (someone)

: to like or desire (something) very much : to take great pleasure in (something)

love

noun
\ˈləv \

Kids Definition of love

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : strong and warm affection (as of a parent for a child)

2 : a great liking a love for reading

3 : a beloved person

love

verb
loved; loving

Kids Definition of love (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : to feel strong affection for He loves his family.

2 : to like very much She loves to ski.

Other Words from love

lover noun

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More from Merriam-Webster on love

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with love

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for love

Spanish Central: Translation of love

Nglish: Translation of love for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of love for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about love

Comments on love

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