See more synonyms for darling on Thesaurus.com
  1. a person very dear to another; one dearly loved.
  2. (sometimes initial capital letter) an affectionate or familiar term of address.
  3. a person or thing in great favor; a favorite: She was the darling of café society.
  1. very dear; dearly loved: my darling child.
  2. favorite; cherished.
  3. Informal. charming; cute; lovable: What a darling baby!

Origin of darling

before 900; Middle English derling, Old English dēorling. See dear1, -ling1
Related formsdar·ling·ly, adverbdar·ling·ness, noun


  1. Jay Nor·wood [nawr-woo d] /ˈnɔr wʊd/, Ding, 1876–1962, U.S. political cartoonist.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for darling

Contemporary Examples of darling

Historical Examples of darling

British Dictionary definitions for darling


  1. a person very much loved: often used as a term of address
  2. a favouritethe teacher's darling
adjective (prenominal)
  1. beloved
  2. much admired; pleasinga darling hat

Word Origin for darling

Old English dēorling; see dear, -ling 1


  1. Grace. 1815–42, English national heroine, famous for her rescue (1838) of some shipwrecked sailors with her father, a lighthouse keeper
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

Word Origin and History for darling

Old English deorling "darling, favorite minion," double diminutive of deor "dear" (see dear (adj.)). The vowel shift from -e- to -a- (16c.) is usual for -er- followed by a consonant. "It is better to be An olde mans derlyng, than a yong mans werlyng" (1562).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper