[ luhv ]
See synonyms for: lovelovedlovesloving on

  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.

  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.

  1. sexual passion or desire.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. (used as a term of endearment, affection, or the like): Would you like to see a movie, love?

  5. a love affair; an intensely amorous incident; amour: It's the story of her many loves, told through the eyes of a journalist.

  6. Love, a personification of sexual affection, as Eros or Cupid.

  7. strong enthusiasm or liking for anything: His huge personal library testified to his love of books.

  8. a thing for which one has a strong enthusiasm or liking: The theater was her great love.

  9. Religion. the benevolent affection and deep compassion of God for all creatures, or the reverent devotion returned from them to God.

  10. Chiefly Tennis. a score of zero; nothing.

  11. 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.

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

  1. 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.

  2. to feel or show active, self-giving concern for: Love your neighbor—even the one you don’t like.

  3. to feel or express reverent devotion toward; adore.

  4. to need or require; benefit greatly from: Plants love sunlight.

  5. to have sexual intercourse with.

  6. 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 Phrases
  1. love up, to hug and cuddle: She loves that little guy up every chance she gets.

Idioms about love

  1. for love,

    • out of devotion, affection, liking, or enjoyment.

    • 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!

  1. in love, infused with or feeling deep affection or passion: He was a youth always in love.

  2. 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!

  3. make love,

    • to engage in sexual activity.

    • to embrace and kiss as lovers.

  4. no love lost, dislike; animosity: There was no love lost between the two brothers.

Origin of love

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;” see also lief

Other words for love

Opposites for love

Other words from love

  • out·love, verb (used with object), out·loved, out·lov·ing.
  • o·ver·love, verb, o·ver·loved, o·ver·lov·ing.

Words Nearby love Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use love in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for love


/ (lʌv) /

  1. (tr) to have a great attachment to and affection for

  2. (tr) to have passionate desire, longing, and feelings for

  1. (tr) to like or desire (to do something) very much

  2. (tr) to make love to

  3. (intr) to be in love

    • an intense emotion of affection, warmth, fondness, and regard towards a person or thing

    • (as modifier): love song; love story

  1. a deep feeling of sexual attraction and desire

  1. wholehearted liking for or pleasure in something

  2. Christianity

    • God's benevolent attitude towards man

    • man's attitude of reverent devotion towards God

  3. Also: my love a beloved person: used esp as an endearment

  4. British informal a term of address, esp but not necessarily for a person regarded as likable

  5. (in tennis, squash, etc) a score of zero

  6. fall in love to become in love

  7. for love without payment

  8. for love or money (used with a negative) in any circumstances: I wouldn't eat a snail for love or money

  9. for the love of for the sake of

  10. in love in a state of strong emotional attachment and usually sexual attraction

  11. make love

    • to have sexual intercourse (with)

    • archaic to engage in courtship (with)

Origin of love

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

Other words from love

  • Related adjective: amatory

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

Other Idioms and Phrases with love


In addition to the idioms beginning with love

  • love affair
  • love at first sight

also see:

  • 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

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