1

love

noun \ ˈləv \
Updated on: 15 Nov 2017

Definition of love

1 a (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
3 a : 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
4 a : unselfish loyal and benevolent (see benevolent 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

Examples of love in a Sentence

  1. Mr. Brown seems to imply that when he retired he relinquished her love as casually as he dispensed with her secretarial services. —Ken FollettNew York Times Book Review27 Dec. 1987
  2. … 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 DowdNew York Times Magazine28 Sept. 1986
  3. 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 TwainTom Sawyer1876
  4. 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 FieldingTom Jones1749
  5. Children need unconditional love from their parents.

  6. He was just a lonely man looking for love.

Origin and Etymology of love

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

Other Forms of Address Terms


2

love

verb \ ˈləv \

Definition of love

loved; loving
transitive verb
1 : to hold dear : cherish
2 a : 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

Examples of love in a Sentence

  1. 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 AusterGrantaWinter 1994
  2. 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 MaxwellNew Yorker15 May 1989
  3. I love either rushing off into abstractions, or shamelessly talking personalities. —Elizabeth Bowenletter28 Apr. 1923
  4. "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 AustenPride and Prejudice1813
  5. She obviously loves her family very much.

  6. You have to love in order to be loved.

  7. He swore that he loved her madly.

  8. She said she could never marry a man she didn't love.

Recent Examples of love from the Web

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.

Origin and Etymology of love

see 1love

love Synonyms

Synonyms
appreciate, cherish, prize, treasure, value, set store by (or set store on), carry a torch for (or carry the torch for), fall for, lose one's heart (to)
Antonyms
disvalue
Related Words
delight (in), dig, enjoy, fancy, groove (on), like, relish, revel (in); admire, apprize, esteem, regard, respect, revere, reverence, venerate; enshrine, memorialize; adore, caress, dote (on), idolize, worship
Near Antonyms
undervalue; abhor, abominate, despise, detest, execrate, hate, loathe; disdain, high-hat, scorn, scout, slight, sniff (at), snub; bad-mouth, belittle, cry down, decry, deprecate, depreciate, disparage, kiss off, minimize, put down, write off; abandon, forget, neglect

LOVE Defined for English Language Learners

love

noun

Definition of love for English Language Learners

  • : 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

Definition of love for English Language Learners

  • : 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 Defined for Kids

1

love

noun \ ˈləv \

Definition of love for Students

1 : strong and warm affection (as of a parent for a child)
2 : a great liking
  • a love for reading
3 : a beloved person

2

love

verb

Definition of love for Students

loved; loving
1 : to feel strong affection for
  • He loves his family.
2 : to like very much
  • She loves to ski.

lover

noun


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