\ 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 No matter what, there is love there, but there needs to be a better understanding. Dan Snierson,, "This Is Us star Chrissy Metz on Kate's pregnancy decision — and that Marc scene," 6 Jan. 2021 Her Instagram also shows off a love of travel, beach days, wineries, and, of course, feral donkeys. Andrea Park, Marie Claire, "Who Is Rachael Kirkconnell on Matt James' Season of 'The Bachelor'?," 5 Jan. 2021 Norwegians call it friluftsliv — a love of the outdoors, even in winter. Cliff Pinckard, cleveland, "Gov. Mike DeWine signs controversial ‘stand your ground’ law: The Wake Up for Tuesday, Jan. 5, 2021," 5 Jan. 2021 After the arrest Maertens Aramayo had looked at Aly’s social media pages and saw that the teenager professed love for Allah. Washington Post, "Nearly a year after a young couple was killed, a guilty plea provides few answers," 4 Jan. 2021 The Monégasque royal is a natural choice, as a love for fashion runs in the family: Casiraghi's grandmother was Grace Kelly, the actress and style icon-turned-royal, and her mother, Princess Caroline, is a longtime Chanel devotee. Chloe Foussianes, Town & Country, "Charlotte Casiraghi, Grace Kelly's Granddaughter, Named Chanel Brand Ambassador for 2021," 4 Jan. 2021 Davila has other passions outside of academics, including volunteering with children at a nearby recreation center, analytical curiosity and a love for math and science, and religion. Janice Neumann,, "Southland students earn full-ride scholarships to prestigious universities through QuestBridge," 31 Dec. 2020 Her daughter Blair said her mother’s love for people had no bounds. Cassandra Spratling, Detroit Free Press, "Beloved Detroit educator Rose Marie Dickens Swanson dies at age 83," 30 Dec. 2020 The actor and producer reminded us that while the personal is political, the personal and the political often rely on imaginative precision driven by a love of expansive notions of Blackness. Essence, "2020 Taught Us: For Black Boys When Losing Heroes Becomes Too Much," 30 Dec. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Fans of the classic video game will love this iPhone and iPad-friendly version. Julia Marzovilla, Marie Claire, "15 Apps to Play With Friends That Aren't Lame," 6 Jan. 2021 And humans do love their rewards programs—especially those humans who are rich enough to be tourists coming back here to Earth. Seija Rankin,, "Read Charles Yu's first work of fiction since the National Book Award-winning Interior Chinatown," 5 Jan. 2021 Who doesn’t love a good frightful fable every now and then? Brian Tallerico, Vulture, "The 50 Best Horror Movies on Shudder," 2 Jan. 2021 Sweet Magnolias fans will love Firefly Lane, starring Katherine Heigl and Sarah Chalke as two friends who experience 30 years of highs, lows, tragedies, fame, and family drama. Christopher Rosa, Glamour, "Best TV Shows of 2021: All the Series We're Excited to Watch Next Year," 1 Jan. 2021 Most of us would probably love nothing more than to cast 2020 into the ash heap of history and move on. Josh Noel,, "Our favorite Chicago-area takeout dishes of 2020," 30 Dec. 2020 Cristina Ballí, executive director of the Guadalupe Cultural Arts Center, would love nothing more than to open up the Guadalupe Theater. Deborah Martin,, "San Antonio arts presenters, venues hopeful they can crawl out of the COVID-19 rubble in 2021," 30 Dec. 2020 But anyone looking for a fun accent plant will love Pilea, as it's sometimes called for short. Arricca Elin Sansone, House Beautiful, "How to Care for a Chinese Money Plant," 22 Dec. 2020 The default local option for most Android users is Google Photos, which many had to come to love due to the generous terms. Jefferson Graham, USA TODAY, "How to find photos on your phone? Here's how I do it.," 20 Dec. 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

13 Jan 2021

Cite this Entry

“Love.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 20 Jan. 2021.

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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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