- a card or message, usually amatory or sentimental but sometimes satirical or comical, or a token or gift sent by one person to another on Valentine's Day, sometimes anonymously.
- a sweetheart chosen or greeted on this day.
- a written or other artistic work, message, token, etc., expressing affection for something or someone: His photographic essay is a valentine to Paris.
Origin of valentine
- Saint,died a.d. c270, Christian martyr at Rome.
- Also Valentinus. pope a.d. 827.
- a male given name: from a Latin word meaning “strong.”
Related Wordspassion, lover, sweetheart, companion, suitor, admirer, girlfriend, boyfriend, heartthrob, paramour, darling, angel, sweet, honey, dear, beloved, inamorata, beau, Romeo, truelove
Examples from the Web for valentine
Actress Ellen Page came out of the closet on Valentine's Day at a Human Rights Campaign conference in Las Vegas.How Likable Is Alec Baldwin After His ‘New York Magazine’ Confessional?
February 26, 2014
Your choice to teach love keeps my Valentine safer from hate.My Sexy American Sikh Valentine
February 14, 2014
Just in time for Valentine's Day, two books reveal the secrets of e-romance.The New Rules of Online Dating
Lizzie Crocker, Abby Haglage
February 14, 2013
This year, get your Valentine something they might actually want.7 Last-Minute Valentine’s Day Gifts Your Valentine Would Actually Want
Misty White Sidell
February 13, 2013
While chasing down a suspect, Valentine crosses The Line, putting his job in jeopardy.This Week’s Must Reads
September 3, 2011
From the beginning, too, Valentine like Shakespeare is a born lover.The Man Shakespeare
At five-and-twenty Valentine was short, slight, and still girlish.
Valentine had sunk upon a chair, stifling with sobs, her limbs trembling.
Once in the linen-room, Valentine ordered all the doors to be carefully secured.
In her haste to get it all over Valentine made a great gesture of surrender.
- a card or gift expressing love or affection, sent, often anonymously, to one's sweetheart or satirically to a friend, on Saint Valentine's Day
- a sweetheart selected for such a greeting
- Saint. 3rd century ad, Christian martyr, associated by historical accident with the custom of sending valentines; bishop of Terni. Feast day: Feb 14
Word Origin and History for valentine
mid-15c., "sweetheart chosen on St. Valentine's Day," from Late Latin Valentinus, the name of two early Italian saints (from Latin valentia "strength, capacity;" see valence). Choosing a sweetheart on this day originated 14c. as a custom in English and French court circles. Meaning "letter or card sent to a sweetheart" first recorded 1824. The romantic association of the day is said to be from it being around the time when birds choose their mates.
For this was on seynt Volantynys day
Whan euery bryd cometh there to chese his make.
[Chaucer, "Parlement of Foules," c.1381]
Probably the date was the informal first day of spring in whatever French region invented the custom (many surviving medieval calendars reckon the start of spring on the 7th or 22nd of February). No evidence connects it with the Roman Lupercalia (an 18c. theory) or to any romantic or avian quality in either of the saints. The custom of sending special cards or letters on this date flourished in England c.1840-1870, declined around the turn of the 20th century, and revived 1920s.
To speak of the particular Customs of the English Britons, I shall begin with Valentine's Day, Feb. 14. when young Men and Maidens get their several Names writ down upon Scrolls of Paper rolled up, and lay 'em asunder, the Men drawing the Maidens Names, and these the Mens; upon which, the Men salute their chosen Valentines and present them with Gloves, &c. This Custom (which sometimes introduces a Match) is grounded upon the Instinct of Animals, which about this Time of the Year, feeling a new Heat by the approach of the Sun, begin to couple. ["The Present State of Great Britain and Ireland" London, 1723]