either of a pair of lovers in relation to the other.
(sometimes initial capital letter) an affectionate or familiar term of address.
a beloved person.
Informal. a generous, friendly person.
Informal. anything that arouses loyal affection: My old car was a real sweetheart.

Origin of sweetheart

First recorded in 1250–1300, sweetheart is from the Middle English word swete herte. See sweet, heart
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for sweetheart

Contemporary Examples of sweetheart

Historical Examples of sweetheart

  • A "bronch fighter" is not more jealous of his sweetheart than of his reputation as a rider.

  • He could not have her for a sweetheart, if she shared her love with other men.

    The Foolish Lovers

    St. John G. Ervine

  • Some o' the men said she was his sweetheart, but he don't look like that kind.

    The Underdog

    F. Hopkinson Smith

  • "Don't worry about me, sweetheart," he replied in a well controlled voice.

    The Monster Men

    Edgar Rice Burroughs

  • Her sweetheart was named Gadern, and he was a young and strong hunter.

    Welsh Fairy Tales

    William Elliott Griffis

British Dictionary definitions for sweetheart



a person loved by another
informal a lovable, generous, or obliging person
a term of endearment for a beloved or lovable person


of or relating to a garment with a sweetheart necklinesweetheart cardigan
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 sweetheart

late 13c. as a form of address, 1570s as a synonym for "loved one;" from sweet (adj.) + heart. As an adjective, with reference to labor contracts, it is attested from 1959.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper