\ 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 House of Payne actress Keshia Knight Pulliam is totally in love with her boo, actor Brad James. Jasmine Grant, Essence, "Actors Keshia Knight Pulliam and Brad James Made Memories On Their Boat Date," 8 July 2020 As early as 1799, Joseph Cahoon, a miller from Vermont, visited the area and fell in love with the beautiful countryside. Carol Kovach, cleveland, "The story behind Bay Village’s first settlers, Cahoon Memorial Park and Rose Hill Museum: West Shore Chatter," 7 July 2020 Giuseppe Tornatore’s wistful memoir about the small-town theater where a director fell in love with the movies feels painfully apropos when a pandemic has shuttered most American multiplexes. Ann Hornaday, Washington Post, "Ennio Morricone wrote the perfect soundtrack for a time when we miss movies more than ever," 6 July 2020 The bronze is based on a mythical sea king’s mermaid daughter who, according to the Hans Christian Andersen tale, falls in love with a prince and longs to become human. Fox News, "Denmark's Little Mermaid statue vandalized with 'racist fish' grafitti," 5 July 2020 After stopping for repairs just off the African coast at Cape Verde, Captain Johnson relates how the Welsh pirate Howell Davis left five crew members behind who had fallen in love with local women. National Geographic, "Ahoy! It's the real pirates of the Caribbean—and the Carolinas," 2 July 2020 Bergmann walked around the site and fell in love with the project. oregonlive, "Project to build a world-class track in Maupin has a small Oregon town thinking big," 30 June 2020 The son of a San Jose plumber who raced as a hobby, Ribbs fell in love with racing at age 9. Ann Killion,, "Willy T. Ribbs fears Bubba Wallace will become NASCAR’s sacrificial lamb," 25 June 2020 Over 1,500 Nordstrom shoppers are also in love with these shoes. Eden Lichterman, Travel + Leisure, "These Lightweight Birkenstocks Only Get More Comfortable the Longer I Wear Them," 24 June 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Consumers and policymakers love the products created by Silicon Valley, but most remain largely unaware of the business practices that create them. Roger Mcnamee, Wired, "Dear Joe Biden: Don't Listen to Silicon Valley," 9 July 2020 The smaller the ship, the more T+L readers seem to love it. Paul Brady, Travel + Leisure, "Top 10 Small-Ship Ocean Cruise Lines," 8 July 2020 Above all, Mom taught us how to love and keep faith in our hearts. Gabrielle Chung,, "'Selfless' Nurse and Mother of 4 Dies Trying to Help Car Crash Victim: 'Our Hearts Are Ripped Out'," 8 July 2020 Two women with powerhouse careers who always support each other and seem to have a fantastic time hanging out together—what’s not to love? Abby Gardner, Glamour, "Gayle King’s Instagram Videos Prove Oprah Winfrey Is a Perfect Quarantine Host," 7 July 2020 My dad imparted to us to be humble, to treat people with kindness, to love those around you. Peter Van Sant, CBS News, "Casey Kasem's wife, children accused each other of "killing" radio icon," 4 July 2020 Get to know the Mrs. America actresses and their real-life counterparts in the series you're bound to love, full stop. Shannon Carlin,, "How The Cast Of Mrs. America Compares To The Real People," 2 July 2020 Elliott remembers how Gruller used to love playing and just wanted a chance. Alvaro Montano, Houston Chronicle, "Baseball: Former Cy Ridge head coach Mark Elliott reflects on Kyle Gruller signing with Houston Astros," 1 July 2020 After all, what’s not to love about services like Home Chef? Melissa Lee, USA TODAY, "Our favorite Home Chef meal kits are deeply discounted for the 4th of July," 30 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

11 Jul 2020

Cite this Entry

“Love.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 12 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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