\ ˈləv How to pronounce love (audio) \

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


\ ˈləv How to pronounce love (audio) \
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

Synonyms: Verb

Antonyms: Noun

Antonyms: Verb

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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: Noun That means Seven Hills residents can literally express their love of Dairy Queen this fall in the form of approving a zoning change. John Benson, cleveland, "Seven Hills’ Dairy Queen eyes move to closed Ruby Tuesday location," 25 June 2020 Aside from his family and wife of 68 years, his true love was the Perfume House, an intimate store tucked away on a floor in an old house at 3328 S.E. Hawthorne Blvd. oregonlive, "The founder of Portland’s Perfume House has died, leaving a legacy of class, charm and kindness," 24 June 2020 The event made the beloved game show more competitive than ever, captured America’s attention (just look at the monster ratings) and renewed our love of the trivia champs and host Alex Trebek. Kelly Lawler, USA TODAY, "The 10 best TV shows of 2020 so far, from 'Jeopardy! GOAT' to 'BoJack Horseman'," 22 June 2020 Sending my love and prayers to anyone who is struggling and reading this. Danielle Rossingh, CNN, "The next Maria Sharapova? Why Amanda Anisimova is the real deal," 22 June 2020 Never mind the fact that River (David Corenswet) is still his one true love. Maureen Lee Lenker,, "From throuples to secession, the most shocking storylines on season 2 of The Politician," 20 June 2020 How extraordinary that this internet, my first true love, is no longer a guilty infatuation. 1843, "The internet, mon amour," 19 June 2020 His love for people was matched only by his optimism in their goodness. Steven Williams, Dallas News, "PepsiCo Foods North America CEO: “In this new era, we must get comfortable being uncomfortable”," 18 June 2020 When engaging in active listening, try to stay present by giving the child your full attention as well as your love and affection. Lynn Burrell, Scientific American, "To Process Grief over COVID-19, Children Need Empathetic Listening," 18 June 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Dawn O’Callahan would love to have a $4,000 tax credit to go on vacation and lounge around at a beach home in San Diego or jump in the car to visit relatives in Colorado. Yvonne Wingett Sanchez, The Arizona Republic, "Why Martha McSally wants the government to pay for your next vacation," 27 June 2020 Talented, hard-working players that love football -- bring them on. Mark Inabinett |, al, "Will Mark Ingram be the Ravens’ No. 1 running back in 2020?," 27 June 2020 Since the pandemic disrupted their business model, the owners at Aracosia in McLean have discovered that, much like for UPS, people love their packages. Tom Sietsema, Washington Post, "Order from these three restaurants, and watch vegetables steal the show," 26 June 2020 Hughes had taken a course called psychographic programming at the University of Chicago, courtesy of Howard University—a course that brought up an idea for her about a Black muzak format—all love ballads. Ericka Blount Danois, Essence, "Play Another Slow Jam: An Oral History of The Quiet Storm," 26 June 2020 Luckily, Outdoor Voices just collaborated with cycling brand Rapha for a new collection that includes stylish performance gear that cyclists will love. Madeline Diamond, Travel + Leisure, "Cyclists Will Love Outdoor Voices’ Latest Collection, Designed for Riding in Style," 25 June 2020 Kids will love making their own beautiful chalk art with this with this 60-piece set. Kami Phillips, CNN Underscored, "The cutest summer essentials from Target, starting at just $3," 25 June 2020 However, there will also be people who forgive and love. Annie Lane, oregonlive, "Dear Annie: Driving nice car while picking up donations gains evil stares," 23 June 2020 Learn how to skip the blow-dry (or shampoo) and love your hair with these stress-less style tips. Deanna Pai, Better Homes & Gardens, "The Best Summer Hair Hacks to Keep Your Tresses Protected All Season," 19 June 2020

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


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


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

History and Etymology for love

Noun and Verb

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

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Time Traveler for love

Time Traveler

The first known use of love was before the 12th century

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Statistics for love

Last Updated

29 Jun 2020

Cite this Entry

“Love.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 8 Jul. 2020.

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More Definitions for love


How to pronounce love (audio)

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


How to pronounce love (audio)

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)


\ ˈləv How to pronounce love (audio) \

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


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

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for love

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with love

Spanish Central: Translation of love

Nglish: Translation of love for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of love for Arabic Speakers Encyclopedia article about love

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