Pop Culture dictionary

love language

[ luhv lang-gwij ]

What is a love language?

The term love language refers to the way that a person prefers to express love to—and receive it from—a partner.

The term is now often used generally to refer to many different methods of expressing love, but the concept and term was introduced by author and counselor Dr. Gary Chapman, who proposed five specific love languages.

What are the five love languages?

According to Chapman, the five love languages are:

  • Acts of service: Performing actions that make your partner feel loved and appreciated, such as helping with chores or doing errands without being asked to.
  • Gifts: Giving thoughtful presents to your partner.
  • Quality time: Spending time with your partner and giving them undivided attention.
  • Words of affirmation: Giving your partner compliments and telling them how much you care about them.
  • Physical touch: Kissing, hugging, or holding hands with your partner.

According to Chapman’s relationship theory, each individual tends to prefer a particular love language more than others. The theory asserts that relationships will be more successful if each person understands and focuses on the love language that their partner prefers.

The term and concept have gained enough mainstream popularity that the term is now used generally. People discussing love languages often propose their own specific ones outside of the traditional five, both seriously and jokingly.

Related words

main character, love bombing, parasocial relationship, 💐 Bouquet emoji, fictosexual

Where does love language come from?

African American couple

The concept of love languages was introduced by author and marriage counselor Dr. Gary Chapman, who first wrote about them in his 1992 book The Five LoveLanguages: How to Express Heartfelt Commitment to Your Mate, which went on to become one of the bestselling relationship advice books of all time.

The term uses the word language as a way of referring to a particular way (or ways) that a romantic partner prefers to express (or receive) love, which may or may not involve words.

Chapman later published additional books based on the love languages idea that helped to further popularize the concept and the term.

Examples of love language

Trying new restaurants together is definitely a love language.
@isashaee, August 8, 2022
Being attuned to a partner's love language was associated with both relationship and sexual satisfaction for heterosexual couples, found a June study published by the journal PLOS One.
John Duffy, CNN, August 2022

Who uses love language?

Many people use the term love language specifically in reference to the five preferences proposed by Dr. Gary Chapman.

The term has also become well-known enough to be used even by those who are not familiar with the original source of the term or concept. People often propose other specific love languages, both seriously and jokingly.

Just Added

pick-me girl, crunchy mom, Constitution Day, 🍻 Clinking Beer Mugs emoji, delulu


This is not meant to be a formal definition of love language like most terms we define on Dictionary.com, but is rather an informal word summary that hopefully touches upon the key aspects of the meaning and usage of love language that will help our users expand their word mastery.