love

noun
\ 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

love

verb
\ 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

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: Noun

Pets In Need believes that everyone deserves the love of a pet and every pet deserves quality care. Jack Walkenhorst, Cincinnati.com, "Column: Shattering preconceived notions of who is ‘in need’," 28 June 2017 And after years on the job, one commonality always rings true: a brokenness, a loneliness, an absence of love or guidance. Bethany Jones, Marie Claire, "I Know the Darkest Secrets of Some of the Most Brutal Killers of Our Time," 28 June 2017

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Not a hint of mannishness but all that man loves and respects. Kimberly Chrisman-campbell, The Atlantic, "When American Suffragists Tried to ‘Wear the Pants’," 12 June 2019 As a general rule, germs love warm, moist environments and hard surfaces, Dr. Zampella says. Patia Braithwaite, SELF, "Yes, You Really Should Wear Shower Shoes in the Gym Locker Room," 12 June 2019 Susan Orlean’s love letter to literacy is also the first selection of the Los Angeles Times Book Club. Maria L. La Ganga, www.latimes.com, "What's L.A. reading? Our habits are as diverse as the city itself," 6 June 2019 Schrager has a knack for turning his hotels into places that locals tend to love more than the overnighters do, but here, he’s done something remarkable. Erin Florio, Condé Nast Traveler, "Currently Obsessed With: The Blade Runner Terrace at the Times Square Edition," 5 June 2019 And the Orlando oasis certainly loves teachers, too. Perri Ormont Blumberg, Southern Living, "WATCH: Disney Springs Hotels Celebrate Teacher Appreciation with Amazing Discounts for Educators," 4 June 2019 Read on for a few products fellow sufferers absolutely love. Tiffany Dodson, SELF, "9 Soothing Products People Swear By for Sunburn Relief," 25 May 2019 The couple had seen an adventure-themed, tented kids’ room Baker dreamed up for a show house and enlisted her to transform their wine-storage room into something their three kids would love. Hadley Keller, House Beautiful, "How to Create the World's Most Insane Playroom," 24 May 2019

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 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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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 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

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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