love

noun
\ ˈləv How to pronounce love (audio) \

Essential Meaning of love

1 : a feeling of strong or constant affection for a person motherly/maternal love fatherly/paternal love See More Examplesbrotherly/sisterly love Children need unconditional love from their parents.Hide
2 : attraction that includes sexual desire : the strong affection felt by people who have a romantic relationship a declaration of love He was just a lonely man looking for love. See More Examplesromantic love unrequited love After all these years, they're still very much in love (with each other). [=they still love each other]Hide
3 : a person you love in a romantic way a lost love You never forget your first love. [=the first person you loved in a romantic way] He was her one true love. = He was the love of her life.

Full 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

love

verb
\ 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 Evidence of someone’s love and affection can brighten your day. Tribune Content Agency, oregonlive, 19 Sep. 2021 Stories about a woman defying the medieval patriarchy, two enslaved Black men finding love and a father and son mourning their mother and the Earth are among the works on the longlist for the 2021 National Book Award for Fiction. Los Angeles Times, 17 Sep. 2021 Inject a little bit of love and beauty into your home with this Aphrodite candle by House of Scandal. Felicity Carter, Forbes, 17 Sep. 2021 The result is a generous record brimming with profundities about the power of love and loss. Britt Julious, chicagotribune.com, 17 Sep. 2021 Every Oscar is permeated with the triumph, disappointments and even love and suffering experienced by the person who earned it. Clayton Davis, Variety, 17 Sep. 2021 Allen also honed her directing chops on this iconic UPN comedy, which starred Tracee Ellis Ross, Golden Brooks, Persia White, and Jill Marie Jones as four modern gal pals experiencing the trials and tribulations of love and relationships. Maureen Lee Lenker, EW.com, 16 Sep. 2021 That’s something that was key for us – embracing self-love and the unfiltered version of you. Essence, 16 Sep. 2021 Serena said that Simone's advocacy for self-love and mental health is just as valuable and inspiring as her Olympic wins. Samantha Olson, Seventeen, 15 Sep. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Tracey Maurer would love you to play with her food. René A. Guzman, San Antonio Express-News, 21 Sep. 2021 Released through Verve/Universal Music Group, the engaging project weaves together multiple genres from alt R&B and soul to pop and gospel as Erivo explores love, loss, triumph and personal growth, among other themes. Gail Mitchell, Billboard, 20 Sep. 2021 People love ghosts, as evidenced by the endless number of ghost hunting shows on TV. Chris Smith, BGR, 19 Sep. 2021 Ideally, Democratic leaders would love for both bills to be voted on together. Alan Fram, chicagotribune.com, 18 Sep. 2021 Ideally, Democratic leaders would love for both bills to be voted on together. Alan Fram, ajc, 18 Sep. 2021 Rebecca would love to work at the city's top fashion magazine but, so far, has not been able to get her foot in the door. Travis Bean, Forbes, 17 Sep. 2021 Republicans would love nothing more than for Democrats to break their promise on middle-class taxes. Brian Riedl, National Review, 17 Sep. 2021 Many of them would love to go back to Congo if there were the facilities and resources there to do the work. Helen Branswell, STAT, 16 Sep. 2021

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

Noun

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a(1)

Verb

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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Learn More About love

Time Traveler for love

Time Traveler

The first known use of love was before the 12th century

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Dictionary Entries Near love

lovat

love

love's test

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Statistics for love

Last Updated

22 Sep 2021

Cite this Entry

“Love.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/love. Accessed 24 Sep. 2021.

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More Definitions for love

love

noun
\ 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

love

verb
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

More from Merriam-Webster on love

Nglish: Translation of love for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of love for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about love

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