View synonyms for love


[ luhv ]


  1. a strong feeling of warm personal attachment or deep affection, such as for a parent, child, friend, or pet:

    He bent and kissed his newborn daughter on the brow, his heart full of love and gratitude.

    Synonyms: friendliness, regard, inclination, liking

    Antonyms: dislike, hatred

  2. a profoundly tender, passionate affection, often mingled with sexual desire, for another person:

    The couple’s ardent love for each other, poured out in these love letters, survived their wartime separation.

    Synonyms: tenderness, adoration, passion, warmth, predilection, fondness

    Antonyms: dislike, hatred

  3. sexual passion or desire.
  4. active, self-giving concern for the well-being of others:

    Love of one's neighbor is the greatest virtue.

    What this suffering world needs is more love.

  5. a person toward whom love is felt; beloved person; sweetheart:

    I long to be with you, my love.

    He was my first and only love.

  6. (used as a term of endearment, affection, or the like):

    Would you like to see a movie, love?

  7. a love affair; an intensely amorous incident; amour:

    It's the story of her many loves, told through the eyes of a journalist.

  8. Love, a personification of sexual affection, as Eros or Cupid.
  9. strong enthusiasm or liking for anything:

    His huge personal library testified to his love of books.

  10. a thing for which one has a strong enthusiasm or liking:

    The theater was her great love.

  11. Religion. the benevolent affection and deep compassion of God for all creatures, or the reverent devotion returned from them to God.
  12. Chiefly Tennis. a score of zero; nothing.
  13. a word formerly used in communications to represent the letter L.

verb (used with object)

, loved, lov·ing.
  1. to have a warm personal attachment to or deep affection for:

    All her students love her.

    I fuss over you, I know, but I love you and I want you to be safe.

    Synonyms: like

    Antonyms: detest, hate

  2. to have a profoundly tender, passionate affection, often mingled with sexual desire, for (another person).

    Synonyms: worship, adulate, adore

    Antonyms: hate, detest

  3. to feel a strong liking for or take great pleasure in; enjoy actively and with enthusiasm:

    I love music.

    He's loving his new job.

  4. to feel or show active, self-giving concern for:

    Love your neighbor—even the one you don’t like.

  5. to feel or express reverent devotion toward; adore.
  6. to need or require; benefit greatly from:

    Plants love sunlight.

  7. to have sexual intercourse with.
  8. to embrace and kiss (someone), as a lover.

verb (used without object)

, loved, lov·ing.
  1. to have love or affection for another person; be in love:

    Those who have never loved will not understand what I am saying.

verb phrase

  1. to hug and cuddle:

    She loves that little guy up every chance she gets.


/ lʌv /


  1. tr to have a great attachment to and affection for
  2. tr to have passionate desire, longing, and feelings for
  3. tr to like or desire (to do something) very much
  4. tr to make love to
  5. intr to be in love


    1. an intense emotion of affection, warmth, fondness, and regard towards a person or thing
    2. ( as modifier )

      love song

      love story

  1. a deep feeling of sexual attraction and desire
  2. wholehearted liking for or pleasure in something
  3. Christianity
    1. God's benevolent attitude towards man
    2. man's attitude of reverent devotion towards God
  4. Alsomy love a beloved person: used esp as an endearment
  5. informal.
    a term of address, esp but not necessarily for a person regarded as likable
  6. (in tennis, squash, etc) a score of zero
  7. fall in love
    to become in love
  8. for love
    without payment
  9. for love or money
    used with a negative in any circumstances

    I wouldn't eat a snail for love or money

  10. for the love of
    for the sake of
  11. in love
    in a state of strong emotional attachment and usually sexual attraction
  12. make love
    1. to have sexual intercourse (with)
    2. to engage in courtship (with)

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Other Words From

  • out·love verb (used with object) outloved outloving
  • o·ver·love verb overloved overloving

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Word History and Origins

Origin of love1

First recorded before 900; Middle English noun love, louve, luve, Old English lufu, cognate with Old Frisian luve, Old High German luba, Gothic lubō; verb derived from the noun; akin to Latin libēre (earlier lubēre ) “to be pleasing,” Polish lubić “to like, enjoy;” lief ( def )

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Word History and Origins

Origin of love1

Old English lufu; related to Old High German luba; compare also Latin libēre (originally lubēre ) to please

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Idioms and Phrases

  1. for love,
    1. out of devotion, affection, liking, or enjoyment.
    2. without compensation:

      He volunteered at the animal shelter for love.

  2. for the love of, in consideration of; for the sake of:

    For the love of mercy, stop that noise!

  3. in love with, feeling deep affection or passion for (a person, idea, occupation, etc.); enamored of:

    I was in love with the girl next door.

    Anyone spending that many hours here without pay must be in love with their work!

  4. in love, infused with or feeling deep affection or passion:

    He was a youth always in love.

  5. make love,
    1. to engage in sexual activity.
    2. to embrace and kiss as lovers.
  6. no love lost, dislike; animosity:

    There was no love lost between the two brothers.

More idioms and phrases containing love

  • all's fair in love and war
  • course of true love
  • fall in love
  • for the love of
  • labor of love
  • make love
  • misery loves company
  • no love lost
  • not for love or money
  • puppy love
  • somebody up there loves me

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Example Sentences

Every now and again, we come across a love story that touches our hearts in more ways than be.

Again, I didn’t think much of it as a 15-year-old, but I just had a love for food.

From Ozy

Ideally you should be growing and evolving at similar rates and speeds for romantic love, I should say.

From Ozy

She’d met me in 1986, at a party for returned Peace Corps volunteers and had fallen in love with the guy who’d just spent two years teaching in Swaziland.

To be a real home cook, the kind who put love and attention into each dish, was to make everything yourself.

From Eater

What happened to true love knows no boundaries and all that?

“I love my job and I love my city and I am committed to the work here,” he said in a statement.

And we have a lot of great guests this season: Greta Gerwig, Natasha Lyonne, Olivia Wilde, Steve Buscemi is back—I love that guy.

You just travel light with carry-on luggage, go to cities that you love, and get to hang out with all your friends.

Terrorism is bad news anywhere, but especially rough on Odessa, where the city motto seems to be “make love, not war.”

In this case, I suspect, there was co-operant a strongly marked childish characteristic, the love of producing an effect.

The well-known "cock and bull" stories of small children are inspired by this love of strong effect.

Women generally consider consequences in love, seldom in resentment.

And as she hesitated between obedience to one and duty toward the other, her life, her love and future was in the balance.

Nothing but an extreme love of truth could have hindered me from concealing this part of my story.


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More About Love

What is a basic definition of love?

Love is an intense, deep affection for another person. Love also means to feel this intense affection for someone. Love can also refer to a strong like for something or to like something a lot. Love has many other senses both as a verb and a noun.

It is difficult to explain what love is. Love is one of the most intense emotions humans feel in life. It is the opposite of hate, another incredibly intense emotion. When you would do anything for a specific person, that’s usually because you feel love for them.

There are many kinds of deep affection you can have for another person, and they can all be described as love. The love you feel for your parents won’t be the same love you feel for a close friend or a romantic partner. You can also have a strong emotional bond with an animal, such as your dog. That, too, is love.

  • Real-life examples: Spouses hopefully feel love toward each other. It is expected that a parent will have feelings of love for their child. Valentine’s Day is a celebration of love.
  • Used in a sentence: The man always helped his daughter out of love for her. 

Love is used in this same sense to mean to feel love toward another person. People who romantically love each other are said to be “in love” and are called lovers. These terms generally imply romantic or sexual attraction.

  • Real-life examples: Romeo loved Juliet. Most parents love their children. A person often loves their boyfriend or girlfriend.
  • Used in a sentence: She loves her best friend like a sister. 

Love is also used to refer to a less passionate, but still strong, fondness for something.

  • Real-life examples: Athletes have a love of sports. Readers have a love of books. Artists may have a love of painting, music, or drawing.
  • Used in a sentence: His love of Paris led him to take many trips to France. 

In this sense, love can also be used to mean to really like something or someone. The word lover is used to mean a person who really likes something, as in a “dog lover” or a “food lover.”

  • Real-life examples: Cats love to chase things. Outgoing people love being around other people. Couch potatoes love television.
  • Used in a sentence: I love going to the zoo and seeing all the animals. 

Where does love come from?

The first records of love come from before the 900s. The noun comes from the Old English word lufu, and the verb comes from the Old English lufian. Both of these words are related to older words for love, such as the Old Frisian luve and luvia.

Did you know … ?

What are some other forms related to love?

What are some synonyms for love?

What are some words that share a root or word element with love

What are some words that often get used in discussing love?

How is love used in real life?

Love is a very common word that people use to refer to others that they cherish or to things they really like.

Try using love!

Which of the following words is NOT a synonym of love?

A. affection
B. infatuation
C. desire
D. hate

When To Use

What are other ways to say love?

The noun love refers to a profoundly tender, passionate affection for another person. When should you use love in place of affection or devotion? Find out on

Definitions and idiom definitions from Unabridged, based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

Idioms from The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.