val·​en·​tine ˈva-lən-ˌtīn How to pronounce valentine (audio)
: a sweetheart chosen or complimented on Valentine's Day
: a gift or greeting sent or given especially to a sweetheart on Valentine's Day
especially : a greeting card sent on this day
: something (such as a movie or piece of writing) expressing uncritical praise or affection : tribute

Example Sentences

Won't you be my Valentine?
Recent Examples on the Web The scene where Bella buys a book about Quileute legends is a valentine for bookstore nerds. Debby Wolfinsohn,, 18 Oct. 2022 The photographer Firooz Zahedi is known for his celebrity portraits, but his new book is a valentine to interiors. The Editors, Town & Country, 6 Oct. 2022 Macca takes a solo guitar stroll through his love-never-dies valentine, without the others’ breathy harmonies. Rob Sheffield, Rolling Stone, 7 Sep. 2022 Christopher Palmer received a valentine from classmate Jennifer Sue Delgado back in the ‘80s at Westwood Terrace Elementary school in San Antonio, Texas. Veronica Fulton, NBC News, 5 June 2022 More than 34 years have passed since Christopher received that valentine from Jennifer Delgado. Veronica Fulton, NBC News, 5 June 2022 The result is a spellbinding duet by Mescal and Frankie Corio, a real discovery as Sophie, a precocious and watchful daughter with a valentine of a face. Sheri Linden, The Hollywood Reporter, 21 May 2022 Drawing upon personal recordings and home videos, director Amy Poehler has served up a warm valentine that leans into celebrating their lives and away from the tabloid fodder. Brian Lowry, CNN, 4 Mar. 2022 Best valentine’s memory was when my ex-boyfriend blind folded me and took me to a trail of flowers that led to a romantic dinner on the beach in Mexico. Griselda Flores, Billboard, 14 Feb. 2022 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'valentine.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

Word History


Middle English valentyn, after Seint Valentynes day

First Known Use

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of valentine was in the 15th century

Dictionary Entries Near valentine

Cite this Entry

“Valentine.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 28 Nov. 2022.

Kids Definition



val·​en·​tine ˈval-ən-ˌtīn How to pronounce valentine (audio)
: a sweetheart given something as a sign of affection on Valentine's Day
: a gift or greeting sent or given on Valentine's Day
Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!

Commonly Confused Words Quiz

  • vector image of a face with thought expression
  • I went to the ______ store to buy a birthday card.
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.

Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.