\ 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 Annie Lane's debut book -- featuring favorite columns on love, friendship, family and etiquette -- is available as a paperback and e-book. cleveland, "Dear Annie: Why can’t people keep work talk at work?," 5 Sep. 2020 The state is scheduled to get some love from former Vice President Joe Biden who will visit Michigan on Wednesday — his first time here since the pandemic began. Carol Cain, Detroit Free Press, "Michigan's swing state status can mean only one thing: The candidates are coming," 5 Sep. 2020 Islanders embark on a summer of love, drama and relationships. Washington Post, "What to watch on Friday: ‘The Boys’ returns on Amazon Prime," 4 Sep. 2020 The memory that 2017 Ann is desperate to avoid — or somehow miraculously change — is that of her first love, Jimmy, a misfit like herself, passionate about music and literature. Laurie Hertzel, Star Tribune, "Review: 'Dear Ann,' by Bobbie Ann Mason," 4 Sep. 2020 Embedded with concepts regarding love, spiritual connection and unlimited possibilities, for the 33-year-old producer, the album is a deeply personal and highly emotional work, with the music born from both periods of depression and exultation. Katie Bain, Billboard, "20 Questions With Joseph Capriati: Techno Veteran Checks In From Italian Hometown on Eve of Album Release," 3 Sep. 2020 Bolt, 12 Inspired by Bolt's' love, his owners are planning on opening their own animal rescue., "Meet the Top Pups Vying to Win the World's Cutest Rescue Dog Contest and Vote For Your Favorite," 2 Sep. 2020 According to Miller, parents often have children in order to satisfy their own unmet needs for love, respect, and attention, or to please their own parents. Elif Batuman, The New Yorker, "Can Greek Tragedy Get Us Through the Pandemic?," 1 Sep. 2020 Here is a beautiful and moving book of love, immigration, and grief. TheWeek, "Ilya Kaminsky recommends 6 works of poetry from 2020," 31 Aug. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Mack or Taylor are, but plenty of teams would love to have Wilkins as their top reserve. Jim Ayello, The Indianapolis Star, "Insider: Breaking down Colts 53-man roster with GM Chris Ballard, Frank Reich," 8 Sep. 2020 Who wouldn’t love to be paid huge money by a shoe company just to be yourself? Scott Ostler,, "Could Jackie Robinson get a job today? Not so fast, Colin Kaepernick might say," 5 Sep. 2020 Skylight would love the option of presenting everything digitally, too, but those rights aren't available or feasible for some shows, especially ones tied to previous movies, Unger said. Jim Higgins, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Skylight Music Theatre revamps 2020-'21 season, plans small-cast shows for limited-capacity audiences," 1 Sep. 2020 Will do more this week and would love to focus on struggling districts and special needs. Lauren M. Johnson, CNN, "Chrissy Teigen asked teachers for their wishlists on Twitter and the responses poured in," 30 Aug. 2020 Other states would love to have our state parks, public lands and muskie and walleye fishing. Star Tribune, "Chris Niskanen, newspaper columnist turned DNR official, is off to the next challenge," 29 Aug. 2020 Understandably, fans of the rom-com would likely love a sequel starring Hudson and McConaughey, whose chemistry is undeniable on-screen. Amy Mackelden, Harper's BAZAAR, "How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days," 28 Aug. 2020 With the limiting factors of online play serving as a variable, players would love for game mechanics and utility to be consistent. Sean Collins, Dallas News, "Pro players on 2021 Call of Duty League, why it could thrive with upcoming Cold War title," 27 Aug. 2020 So the about $11 million in CARES Act money would cut down the deficit, and Martin Lyons, the city’s chief financial officer, said city officials would love to get the deficit down to about $10 million. Steve Lord,, "Mayor says there will be no COVID-related tax increase in Aurora," 27 Aug. 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

9 Sep 2020

Cite this Entry

“Love.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 20 Sep. 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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Comments on love

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