Definition of love in English:


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  • 1An intense feeling of deep affection.

    ‘babies fill parents with feelings of love’
    • ‘their love for their country’
    • ‘That year he moved to London but his love for Wales was strong and he eventually settled permanently there.’
    • ‘His love for children and affection for the sick have endeared him to all.’
    • ‘My brother, and his real, strong love for me that was able to pull me back into the world I know.’
    • ‘Each one is very powerful, but none of them is as strong as your love for your daughter.’
    • ‘There is no romance involved, still the affection and love for a friend is implied and understood.’
    • ‘Yet they still retain a strong love for their mother land, its culture and its traditions.’
    • ‘The long periods of separation never affected her love for her mother.’
    • ‘He was acting on his love for her and his strong need to make sure that she and their baby were being taken care of.’
    • ‘But the biggest thing in Amanda's life was children, her incredible love for them and devotion to them.’
    • ‘The conscientious objectors have nothing but admiration, pride and love for their homeland.’
    • ‘In my book, a mother's love for her child is the highest form of human love.’
    • ‘In short, how can there be love for the country without love for the people?’
    • ‘His devotion to his work and his love for children made him popular with both pupils and parents.’
    • ‘It is a moving account of his time in Chile, his love for the people and their love for him.’
    • ‘If there is one thing to beat crime it is love, love for our children, love for our family and friends, and love for all!’
    • ‘He has expressed his love for his mother in the most tender, touching terms.’
    • ‘Is it a story about love for your family, love for your country, a revolution.’
    • ‘I guess Michael and I were trying to find a way to express our brotherly love for one another.’
    • ‘Brotherly love comes at a price, it seems.’
    • ‘"I, too, have known a mother's love for her child.’
    deep affection, fondness, tenderness, warmth, intimacy, attachment, endearment
    compassion, care, caring, regard, solicitude, concern, warmth, friendliness, friendship, kindness, charity, goodwill, sympathy, kindliness, altruism, philanthropy, unselfishness, benevolence, brotherliness, sisterliness, fellow feeling, humanity
    relationship, love affair, affair, romance, liaison, affair of the heart, intrigue, amour
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1A feeling of deep romantic or sexual attachment to someone.
      ‘they were both in love with her’
      • ‘we were slowly falling in love’
      • ‘it was love at first sight’
      • ‘love songs’
      • ‘She did not overtly try to attract Edgar, but he was still falling in love with her.’
      • ‘He unexpectedly finds himself falling in love with a young refugee.’
      • ‘Falling in love with Maria, he comes to question rigid definitions of masculine and feminine.’
      • ‘Try falling in love with someone who is from a different country and speaks a different language.’
      • ‘You were falling in love with her, she already loved you, and you made a great couple.’
      • ‘I'm sure even if you somehow did end up falling in love with her, she'd never allow it.’
      • ‘It seemed completely unreal, the kisses we shared and how he said he was falling in love with me.’
      • ‘She frequently accuses me of cheating on her, or falling in love with someone else.’
      • ‘I might add that I have felt an intense passion and love for one man several years ago.’
      • ‘Passionate mutual love does not outweigh the imperatives of the class structure as they are presented in the novel.’
      • ‘Unrequited love is a painful thing to see.’
      • ‘There is a possibility of love at first sight and even a hasty marriage.’
      • ‘Finding love is a hard thing to do, but don't fret.’
      • ‘My love for her was as strong as ever, as it is now, at this very moment.’
      • ‘We have always happy together and our love for each other has been strong and growing for sometime now.’
      • ‘If your recent post is anything to go by, her love for you is as strong as ever!’
      • ‘Why can't two people our age fall in love and stay in love for the rest of our lives?’
      • ‘He lost his ambition and forgot everything but his love for this unworthy woman.’
      • ‘His last kiss still tingled on her lips, and she glowed in the warmth of the sun and their love for each other.’
      • ‘I had to try to put my intense passionate love for him to the side and be his friend.’
      besotted with, infatuated with, enamoured of, love-struck by, smitten with, passionate about, with a passion for, consumed with desire for
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    2. 1.2Affectionate greetings conveyed to someone on one's behalf.
      ‘give her my love’
      • ‘Big Hugs to Tamsin. I'm sending all my love and best wishes to Tamsin who goes in for her operation today.’
      • ‘We also send our best love to you and the children all wish that they were going on the same ship as their Father.’
      • ‘Now, I don't know her, but my heart goes out to her, and I'm sending my love.’
      • ‘We send our love to a wonderful woman and all the best for a speedy recovery.’
      • ‘I send her all my love, I know what it feels like, remember Debbie- me and my mum are always here for you.’
      • ‘Channel those emotions as you read this, and send me all your love and sympathy.’
      • ‘We send all our love and heartfelt sorrow for all your family and everybody who knew and loved you.’
      • ‘Everyone who knew David sends condolences and love to Janet at this sorrowful time.’
      • ‘Also all the rest of the assorted cousins and uncles and aunts send their love too.’
      • ‘For all of you have traveled with us and are embarking on new journeys, we send you our love.’
      • ‘Uncle Richard and Flora are still happy together, and they and Jamie send their love.’
      • ‘I send love to those who are here today and to those who cannot be here but who are listening.’
      • ‘I send them all love and big hugs with lots of prayers to them and their families.’
      • ‘All our love and best wishes on this special occasion from your family and friends.’
      • ‘Give my love to mother and Sarah and the children.’
      best wishes, regards, good wishes, greetings, kind regards, kindest regards, felicitations, salutations, compliments, best, respects
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    3. 1.3A formula for ending an affectionate letter.
      ‘take care, lots of love, Judy’
      • ‘All the very very best to you Tom, and lots of love from Charlie.’
      • ‘Hmmm nothing of any import to say so I will sign off again, lots of love.’
      • ‘Looking forward to seeing you soon, Lots of love, Grannie’
    4. 1.4A personified figure of love, often represented as Cupid.
      ‘Dante stands on the left, led by Love who bends to kiss Beatrice.’
      • ‘A winged Cupid, or Love, is represented as having gone before them, preparing the nuptial feast.’
      • ‘Love is shown as armed with bows and arrows.’
  • 2A great interest and pleasure in something.

    ‘his love for football’
    • ‘we share a love of music’
    • ‘Willie was the local historian, a very popular man who had a great interest and love of his locality.’
    • ‘I had a great interest and love of music, and music was always a part of the family, but no one had ever pursued it.’
    • ‘You'll need to read this book to taste his love of the hurley, the alley and hurling itself.’
    • ‘But he is one of life's great enthusiasts and his love of his subject is getting quite infectious.’
    • ‘Ian drinks his coffee and talks enthusiastically about his love of singing.’
    • ‘She dwells on her charming manner, love of clothes, loyalty to her brother and, in later life, to her adoptive city.’
    • ‘And these days he loves nothing more than combining his love of running with his passion for travel.’
    • ‘So passionate is my love of opera, that I crave any activity that extends my time in the Arts Centre.’
    • ‘Though coming from a football heartland, he had an even bigger interest and love for hurling.’
    • ‘Liam in his reply spoke of his love of the game and the enjoyment he still gets out of coaching.’
    • ‘He is remembered for his joviality and zest for life and love of the game.’
    • ‘He turned his love of surfing into a company worth more than half a billion dollars.’
    • ‘His love of animals preceded his love of gardening, and he says a good gardener is automatically a naturalist.’
    • ‘He loved his music and he passed on his love for music to his children.’
    • ‘He lived on a farm in the country and grew up with an appreciation and love for nature.’
    • ‘Years later he has combined his love for zoology with his appreciation of the female form.’
    • ‘Though her appreciation and love for music never subsided, Jen did not actively compose again for several years.’
    • ‘There is no questioning his enthusiasm and love for the game and you are always off to a good start when you have that kind of passion.’
    • ‘The fact that you would do it for free is just an indicator of your passion and love for it.’
    • ‘They share a mutual love of music and both are very deep thinkers.’
    liking, weakness, partiality, bent, leaning, proclivity, inclination, disposition
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  • 3A person or thing that one loves.

    ‘she was the love of his life’
    • ‘their two great loves are tobacco and whiskey’
    • ‘By the end of the trip I knew she had two loves; her son and her carpets.’
    • ‘This tale of country folk, their loves and hates, their customs, is like a prescription for our troubled age.’
    • ‘The prolific writer spent his life combining his two great loves - writing and the Lake District.’
    • ‘By the time he was a young man, his two great loves, politics and horse-racing, soon became apparent.’
    • ‘She was a young woman who had many loves in her life - most of which revolved around her family.’
    • ‘His chief love is painting, sorry, his two chief loves are painting and some old guru or other.’
    • ‘She is fascinated with history and theatre, two loves passed down from her mother.’
    • ‘While she was a singer first and foremost, she is loathe to choose between her two loves.’
    • ‘My job and my family are both great loves of my life and have helped.’
    • ‘She tours America and in the process of winning recognition she betrays her loves and her artistic beliefs.’
    • ‘The two loves of the club crooner's life were always his wife - and song.’
    • ‘Music was one of his great loves and before long he could play several instruments.’
    • ‘He had three great, simple loves in his life, his family and friends, his football and his faith.’
    • ‘The lives, loves and actions of everybody are shrunk down so that everyone can have their fifteen minutes of fame.’
    • ‘The talk covered not only her life and loves but also family and domestic life in the 13 th century.’
    beloved, loved one, love of one's life, dear, dearest, dear one, darling, sweetheart, sweet, sweet one, angel, honey
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    1. 3.1British informal A friendly form of address.
      • ‘it's all right, love’
      • ‘It's alright my love you are safe with me.’
      • ‘It's alright my love, what you want to know I'll tell you. Ask me.’
      • ‘It's alright my love! I'm here! Everything will be just fine!’
      • ‘It's alright my love. We're all feeling emotional.’
    2. 3.2a love informal Used to express affectionate approval for someone.
      • ‘don't fret, there's a love’
      • ‘"Don't choke 'im, there's a love".’
      • ‘"Emily, my dear," said the spinster aunt, with a patronising air, "don't talk so loud, love."’
      • ‘Stop complaining about free speech and don't be a hypocrite, there's a love.’
  • 4(in tennis, squash, and some other sports) a score of zero; nil.

    ‘love fifteen’
    • ‘he was down two sets to love’
    • ‘More so in the second set where Jones held four out of five service games at love.’
    • ‘To come back from two sets to love and win it is an awesome feeling.’
    • ‘The running tennis score of each of the games is expressed in a style peculiar to tennis: score in a game from zero to three points is represented as zero (or "love"), fifteen, thirty, and forty correspondingly.’


    Apparently from the phrase play for love (i.e. the love of the game, not for money); folk etymology has connected the word with French l'oeuf ‘egg’, from the resemblance in shape between an egg and a zero.




transitive verb

[with object]
  • 1Feel deep affection for (someone)

    ‘he loved his sister dearly’
    • ‘there were four memorial pages set up by her friends in honor of Phoebe, saying how much they loved and missed her’
    • ‘He truly did love her, and deep down he knew his family would too, but he was still nervous.’
    • ‘Though you tried to deny it, you must trust your heart that deep inside you love him.’
    • ‘A part of me hoped that deep down he really did love me for that.’
    • ‘That's why if I could have one wish, it would be for you to never stop loving me.’
    • ‘His love wasn't true and you will find someone who loves you and really respects you.’
    • ‘Your daughter may already know that this man is taking advantage of her but, as she loves him, she may be unable to resist his charm.’
    • ‘Of course he loves you, and he always will.’
    • ‘To find someone you are compatible with and who loves you is enough.’
    • ‘But after this, I'll do whatever I have to do to keep him because he's shown he loves me.’
    • ‘He replies talking about having a wife he loves and who loves him, a wonderful daughter and a good life.’
    • ‘I have hinted that this is a bad thing but she says that she loves him.’
    • ‘I believe her when she says she loves me and I know I mean it when I say I love her.’
    • ‘The sense of disappointment left me empty inside, obviously nobody loves me.’
    • ‘Many a woman's mother has suggested that it is a good idea to marry a man who loves you more than you love him.’
    • ‘She's rung me and told me she loves him, he loves her and they want to be together but I can't accept that.’
    • ‘There are hot croissants downstairs, and a man who loves me despite and because of everything.’
    • ‘"I love you baby, " Kelly says, hugging her.’
    • ‘I love you baby, and that's all that matters.’
    • ‘Maybe then, and only then, could I truly be loved in return?’
    • ‘He loves his wife, enjoys her world, shares her clothes, goes shopping with her.’
    be in love with, be infatuated with, be smitten with, be besotted with, be passionate about
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    1. 1.1Feel a deep romantic or sexual attachment to (someone)
      ‘she really loved him’
      • ‘I do realize that people get married because they love each other’
      be in love with, be infatuated with, be smitten with, be besotted with, be passionate about
      View synonyms
  • 2Like or enjoy very much.

    ‘I just love dancing’
    • ‘I'd love a cup of tea’
    • ‘I love this job’
    • ‘they love to play golf’
    • ‘Sarah loves the outdoors and enjoys swimming, surfing, gardening, cooking and camping.’
    • ‘But thousands of ordinary people would love the chance to enjoy opera more fully.’
    • ‘What we do is for people who really love his music.’
    • ‘Pete is not able to say that the crowds have always loved watching him play.’
    • ‘We contemplated going in several directions, but we've always loved what we've done.’
    • ‘But something slowly began to dawn on me - I still loved what I did.’
    • ‘Some of the local children absolutely loved the idea of finding bugs and learning more about their native environment.’
    • ‘The children have really loved the whole idea of it.’
    • ‘I'd absolutely love to hear what you have to say!’
    • ‘I would absolutely love to hear about it.’
    • ‘"Our fans love to see quality homegrown talent.’
    • ‘How could our kid not love the great outdoors?’
    • ‘The rustic cottage, constructed with pine slats, was the home of a man who loved the outdoors.’
    • ‘"I thought all girls love to dance.’
    • ‘The many teenagers in the audience loved the music and seemed to know every number.’
    • ‘The guy loves music, and this was apparent every single time he was onstage.’
    • ‘He loved working in his garage and being in the bush, cutting wood.’
    • ‘During his free time, my husband loves working on computers and audiovisual systems.’
    • ‘After that I'd get out and do lots of gardening; I love gardening.’
    • ‘She loved gardening and flowers and spent many happy and contented days in the garden.’
    like very much, delight in, enjoy greatly, have a passion for, take great pleasure in, derive great pleasure from, have a great liking for, be addicted to, relish, savour
    View synonyms





    fall in love
    • 1Develop a deep romantic or sexual attachment to someone.

      ‘I've fallen in love with you’
      • ‘we were slowly falling in love’
      1. 1.1Develop a deep liking for something.
        • ‘I came to San Francisco to visit a friend and fell in love with the city’
    fall out of love
    • 1Cease to feel a deep romantic or sexual attachment to someone.

      ‘we just fell out of love’
      • ‘Mike thought his wife had fallen out of love with him’
      1. 1.1Become disenchanted with something.
        • ‘he admitted to falling out of love with the game’
    for love
    • For pleasure not profit.

      ‘he played for the love of the game’
      • ‘Did anyone seriously imagine that he was managing England for love rather than money?’
      • ‘It's not a lot of money, so we do it for love, we do it because we have this commitment.’
      • ‘And Jeff loved what he did, and he did it for love, not money.’
      • ‘The answer to that question is that he did it by himself - single-handedly, and he did it for love.’
    for the love of God
    • Used to express annoyance, surprise, or urgent pleading.

      ‘for the love of God, get me out of here!’
      • ‘If I should ever be in a vegetative state and kept alive on life support, please, for the love of God, don't ever show me in that condition on national television.’
      • ‘Please, for the love of God, TELL ME WHAT YOU SAID!’
      • ‘And if you do break down, for the love of God, PUSH YOUR CAR INTO THE EMERGENCY LANE.’
      • ‘Please, for the love of God, write something better…’
      • ‘As for the rest of you - for the love of God, please stop.’
      • ‘Don't let this happen - for the love of God, think of the children!’
      • ‘I've got no trouble with sexy little clothes, but for the love of God, it's the middle of winter!’
      • ‘Just get down there and try, for the love of God!’
      • ‘Oh, for the love of God, Erin, please do not cry!’
      • ‘Oh, for the love of God, don't do this to me now!’
    for the love of Mike
    British informal
    • Used to accompany an exasperated request or to express dismay.

      • ‘for the love of Mike take off those shoes!’
      • ‘'Cut it out and just take some normal pictures, for the love of Mike.’’
      • ‘He's my man-servant, not a plutocrat, for the love of Mike!’
      • ‘Forget pounds - why, for the love of Mike would you want to work with pounds?’
    love is blind
    • Loving someone makes you unable to see their faults.

      • ‘I don't see why he bothered with her but then, love is blind’
    love me, love my dog
    • If you love someone, you must accept everything about them, even their faults or weaknesses.

      • ‘I'm one of those people who has taken to heart the old saying "love me, love my dog."’
    make love
    • 1Have sexual intercourse.

      ‘one of the young men makes love to a village girl’
      • ‘in the morning they made love’
      • ‘She no longer wants to make love, whereas before we had a very good sex life.’
      • ‘The idea was that parents loved each other, got married, made love, and babies resulted.’
      • ‘Being gay means that the ordinary relationship between making love and having children is severed.’
      • ‘Or it might involve being interrupted while making love or excessive worry about areas such as work, family life or finances.’
      • ‘She never initiates sex, and never really gets into it when we do make love.’
      • ‘Our feelings have grown stronger, we are closer than ever and we make love regularly.’
      • ‘We kissed and that night we went back to her house and we made love.’
      • ‘Things wouldn't be so bad if we hadn't made love, but we have quite a few times.’
      • ‘We'd talk lots and make love lots - and then talk lots again and make love lots again.’
      • ‘They said they had lost a sense of intimacy and were no longer making love.’
    • 2make love to dated Pay amorous attention to (someone).

    not for love or money
    • Not for any inducement or in any circumstances.

      • ‘they'll not return for love or money’
      • ‘He has taken on an unselfish task, not for love or money, for the first time in his life.’
      • ‘This compromise I would not make, not for love or money or threats of a lonely old age.’
      • ‘Some guitars you don't let go, not for love or money… and this is one of them.’
      • ‘We never lend, rent or give our mailing list nor any customer information to anyone, not for love or money.’
      • ‘You have my admiration, I would not be able to do it, not for love or money.’
      • ‘A young woman on a cross-country train from Vancouver to Toronto has a child by a visiting Indian student because of ‘the fact that you couldn't get condoms around the Calgary station, not for love or money.’’
    the love that dare not speak its name
    • 1An allusive term for homosexuality.


      First appearing in ‘Two Loves’, a poem by the British author Lord Alfred Douglas (1870–1945), the phrase is popularly associated with Oscar Wilde as a result of its use during his trial for homosexual offences in 1895.

      1. 1.1Used to refer to a preference or practice regarded as unacceptable or taboo.
        ‘a fondness for nuclear power was the love that dare not speak its name among green campaigners’
        • ‘For the LNP, privatisation could be the love that dare not speak its name.’
        • ‘One Tory MP has suggested that Europhilia on his party's backbenches was now "the love that dare not speak its name".’
        • ‘I have fallen prey to the love that dare not speak its name: I am in the thrall of a music that is not cool, never will be cool, and never has been cool.’
        • ‘It is the love that dare not speak its name - the love for the atomic bomb and for nuclear power.’
        • ‘While he was helping flog 13 million records to teenyboppers, he harboured a love that dare not speak its name: he adored rock.’
        • ‘There are many types of love, a man's love for a fine wine, or the love shared by a young couple just beginning a romance, but today we are concerned with the love that dare not speak its name, a website's love for a local football manager.’
        • ‘During the 1990s, avarice was the love that dare not speak its name.’
        • ‘Redistribution remains the policy that dare not speak its name.’
        • ‘On the other side, immigration is the issue that dare not speak its name.’
    there's no love lost between
    • There is mutual dislike between (the people mentioned)

      ‘there's no love lost between Scott and me’
      • ‘There is little love lost between them, although mutual respect burns strongly.’
      • ‘Certainly there will be no love lost between not only the players of these two clubs, but also between the two teams' coaching staffs.’
      • ‘The fact that there is no love lost between champion and contender has added spice to their battles in recent years; they respect each other, of course, but that's about the limit of their mutual feelings.’
      • ‘‘There is certainly no love lost between the two teams,’ he said.’
      • ‘There's obviously no love lost between Eddie and Tim.’
      • ‘There is often little love lost between lawyer and defendant especially if the client goes to jail.’
      • ‘These nations have a long history of warfare and there is little love lost between any of them.’
      • ‘There was not much love lost between the two cities, and that intense civic pride was reflected by local radio.’
      • ‘There is not much love lost between the competitors.’
      • ‘There is little love lost between the former monopolist and the new competitors.’


Old English lufu, of Germanic origin; from an Indo-European root shared by Sanskrit lubhyati ‘desires’, Latin libet ‘it is pleasing’, libido ‘desire’, also by leave and lief.