sweetheart

1 of 2

noun

sweet·​heart ˈswēt-ˌhärt How to pronounce sweetheart (audio)
plural sweethearts
1
a
used as a term of endearment
Jin-Ho's mother said, "The binky is all gone, sweetheart," but Xiu-Mei wouldn't hush.Anne Tyler
b
used as an informal term of address
As the nurse prepared her shot, Grace sat on her mother's lap. … "This won't take two seconds," the nurse said. "My name's Nina. What's your name, sweetheart?"Bonnie Washuk
Chuck Tranium is the president of a talent agency, where he wears alligator shirts and calls his secretaries "sweetheart."Lucinda Franks
2
: someone who is loved
often, specifically : a romantic partner
… a music studio manager who plans to wed her college sweetheart this fall. Jennifer Oldham
3
: favorite entry 1 sense 1
It only makes sense that Vogue would choose America's sweetheart Jennifer Lawrence to grace the cover of its 125th September issue.Andrea Park
Heck, Mike Wallace isn't everybody's sweetheart either but he certainly contributes a lot to the success of 60 Minutes.Don Merrill
4
: a generally likable person
Some customers are total sweethearts. Others require a tremendous amount of hand-holding, follow-up service, and support.Paul B. Brown
especially : one who is kind and gentle
Most important, she often stays a few minutes to chat. … "She's a real sweetheart," an … elderly woman tells me. "What would I do without her?" Chris Jerome
It was often through this task—which he approached with a blend of gentle, down-to-earth humor and humility—that he gained the respect and adoration of many agents. It was common to be approached at trade shows by agents saying, "Tell Matt he is such a sweetheart." Kenneth Shapiro
5
: a remarkable one of its kind
The Camaro was a sweetheart except for its Wiesmann gearbox, which had me thoroughly befuddled.Car and Driver

see also sweetheart deal

sweetheart

2 of 2

adjective

: of or relating to an agreement between an employer and a labor union official arranged privately for their benefit usually at the expense of the workers
a sweetheart contract
broadly : arranged in private for the benefit of a few at the expense of many
a sweetheart deal

Examples of sweetheart in a Sentence

Noun Be a sweetheart and help your grandmother. She is such a little sweetheart.
Recent Examples on the Web
Noun
Ron Howard, a Pisces, and his wife, Cheryl Howard, a Capricorn, were high school sweethearts and have been married for almost 50 years. Katie Mannion, Peoplemag, 18 Feb. 2024 Bill Hassinger gave his high school sweetheart, Joanne Blakkan, a silver bracelet with green gems more than seven decades ago. Sydney Page, Washington Post, 18 Feb. 2024 Both films opened everywhere in North America on Wednesday to take advantage of sweethearts wanting to go the movies on Valentine’s Day. Pamela McClintock, The Hollywood Reporter, 15 Feb. 2024 Every year for Valentine's Day, lovers around the world pull out all the stops for their sweethearts. Maeghan Dolph, Fox News, 14 Feb. 2024 Bulgari Hotel Paris Some sweethearts want to stay somewhere with an Old World French feel. Lane Nieset, Forbes, 13 Feb. 2024 His parents were high school sweethearts and devout Catholics; his father graduated from West Point in 1946, served in the Air Force, and started an investment management firm that’s now known as Federated Hermes (and run by another son). Byalena Botros, Fortune, 12 Feb. 2024 Overlooking Lee’s remarkable turn as a woman whose life is upended when her childhood sweetheart comes to visit from Korea. Glenn Whipp, Twin Cities, 28 Jan. 2024 That applies also to the carnage, when the devoted Creature starts eliminating anyone who upsets his sweetheart and using their corpses to replace his missing body parts. David Rooney, The Hollywood Reporter, 7 Feb. 2024
Adjective
This romantic shade is perfect for a sweetheart French manicure. Danielle Sinay, Glamour, 31 Jan. 2024 But meanwhile, the European Commission is pressing on with its campaign against sweetheart corporate tax deals. David Meyer, Fortune, 24 Sep. 2020 In exchange for a sweetheart deal, the company will bring tens of thousands of high-paying jobs and spend $5 billion in capital expenditures. Alex Shephard, New Republic, 19 Jan. 2018 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'sweetheart.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

Noun

13th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Adjective

1942, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of sweetheart was in the 13th century

Dictionary Entries Near sweetheart

Cite this Entry

“Sweetheart.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/sweetheart. Accessed 2 Mar. 2024.

Kids Definition

sweetheart

noun
sweet·​heart
ˈswēt-ˌhärt
: a person whom one loves

More from Merriam-Webster on sweetheart

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