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

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 But as stratospheric prices and record low housing inventory fuel bidding wars across the country, love letters are more popular than ever. Jessica Guynn, USA TODAY, 20 Nov. 2021 The result is a sparkling account of one woman’s passion and enduring love of powder. David M. Shribman, WSJ, 19 Nov. 2021 Lily King isn’t afraid of big emotional subjects: desire and grief, longing and love, growth and self-acceptance. Washington Post, 19 Nov. 2021 The Rodriguezes chose Wisconsin as the first place to expand their business because of Kati's connection to the state and the couple's mutual love of Brew City. Hannah Kirby, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 19 Nov. 2021 Its lining is printed with a pattern of falling roses representing his lost love Julia, whose own motif is a rose. Zoe Hewitt, Variety, 19 Nov. 2021 Now, Lara and Ben must decide what’s more important, winning the contest or finding true love. Tanya Wildt, Detroit Free Press, 18 Nov. 2021 The Grateful Dead formed in the Bay area in 1965 and became one of the key symbols of the counterculture upon releasing a debut album in 1967 that was just as heavy on the members’ love for roots music as the psychedelia of the period. NBC News, 18 Nov. 2021 One constant in their life was Bowie's love of art in all its forms. Liz Mcneil, PEOPLE.com, 18 Nov. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb The people who love it are growing ever grayer, and French parents are no longer bringing up their young to appreciate a taste that any normal child instinctively finds yucky (god knows, mine does). Joshua Levine, Smithsonian Magazine, 20 Nov. 2021 Conquering the worlds of video and podcasts is important to Spotify, but its core business is still music and the fans who love it. Adario Strange, Quartz, 19 Nov. 2021 Who wouldn’t love Clé de Peau Beauté’s Superior Lifting & Firming Collection that is designed to not only work wonders for your skin, but look chic on your vanity too. Kiana Murden, Vogue, 18 Nov. 2021 And at times, the feelings of comfort and security almost suggest that our stuff can love us back. Charlene K. Lau, The Atlantic, 16 Nov. 2021 Oakland, a low-budget club, would love to bring him back but is not likely to afford the new contract. Dan Schlossberg, Forbes, 13 Nov. 2021 So much of the classical music industry relies on the assumption that star soloists and conductors can hop on a plane without a thought, and that the listeners who love them will travel to hear them. Globe Staff, BostonGlobe.com, 12 Nov. 2021 These letters have prompted hundreds of responses from other veterans – and those who love them. Amy Dickinson, Detroit Free Press, 12 Nov. 2021 These letters have prompted hundreds of responses from other veterans — and those who love them. Washington Post, 11 Nov. 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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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

21 Nov 2021

Cite this Entry

“Love.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/love. Accessed 26 Nov. 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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