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cupboard love

a personal attachment that appears to be motivated by love but in fact stems from the hope of gain.
Origin of cupboard love
First recorded in 1750-60
Related forms
cupboard lover, noun Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for cupboard love
Historical Examples
  • Not that there was any cupboard love in his little sweet—she was a bundle of affection.

    Five Tales John Galsworthy
  • He has a cupboard love for Sarah, but I think that his affection for me is simon-pure.

    Mavis of Green Hill Faith Baldwin
  • Perhaps my enthusiasm for California sounds a little like cupboard love.

    The Smiling Hill-Top Julia M. Sloane
  • "It's cupboard love as brings you out so sharp," he said, his voice resounding in the cold darkness.

    The Rainbow D. H. (David Herbert) Lawrence
  • The commissariat at home is too good to justify any suspicion of this ignoble sort of cupboard love.

British Dictionary definitions for cupboard love

cupboard love

a show of love inspired only by some selfish or greedy motive
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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