1 : a dearly loved person
2 : favorite
Did You Know?
The origins of darling can be found in the very heart of the English language, and examples of its use are found in Old English writings from the 9th century. The Old English dēorling was formed by attaching the Old English suffix -ling ("one associated with or marked by a specified quality") with the adjective dēore, the ancestor of our adjective dear ("regarded very affectionately or fondly," "highly valued or esteemed," "beloved"). English speakers appear to have developed a fondness for darling and have held on to it for well over a thousand years now. And though its spelling has changed over time—including variations such as dyrling, derlinge, and dearling—darling has maintained its original sense of "one dearly loved."
The youngest of three children, he was always his parents' little darling.
"Once reticent to share anything about herself with fans and the media, thinking it was cooler to be mysterious, the critical darling and dance world entrepreneur is now open and forthright…." — Katie Bain, Billboard.com, 28 Mar. 2019
Test Your Vocabulary with M-W Quizzes
Name That Synonym
Fill in the blanks to complete an Irish-derived synonym of darling: a _ o _ r _ e _ n.VIEW THE ANSWER
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