love
Pronunciation
  • IPA: /lʌv/
  • (Northern England, Ireland) IPA: /lʊv/

Noun

love

  1. (uncountable) Strong affection.
    1. A profound and caring affection towards someone.
      A mother’s love is not easily shaken.
      My husband’s love is the most important thing in my life.
      • 1674, John Milton, Paradise Lost:
        He on his side / Leaning half-raised, with looks of cordial love / Hung over her enamoured.
      • 2014, S. Hidden, Jewish, Christian, and Islamic Mystical Perspectives on the Love of God (ISBN 1137443324)
    2. Affectionate, benevolent concern or care for other people or beings, and for their well-being.
      • 1864, Utilitarianism Explained and Exemplified in Moral and Political Government:
        The love of your neighbor as yourself, is expressly given as the definition and test of Charity,—not alms-giving—and this love is [...] the highest of all the Divine commands[.]
    3. A feeling of intense attraction towards someone.
      I have never been in love as much as I have with you.
    4. A deep or abiding liking for something; an enthusiasm for something.
      My love of cricket knows no bounds.
      • 2012, Philip Auerswald, The Coming Prosperity (ISBN 0199930848):
        For three decades, the average number of miles driven by US motorists increased steadily. Then, in 2007, that steady climb was suddenly halted. [...] What magic caused Americans to temper their longstanding love of the open road?
  2. (countable) A person who is the object of romantic feelings; a darling, a sweetheart, a beloved.
    • Open the temple gates unto my love.
    • 1596-97, William Shakespeare, The Merchant of Venice, Act III Scene 2
      O love, dispatch all business, and be gone!
  3. (colloquial, Commonwealth) A term of friendly address, regardless of feelings.
    Hello love, how can I help you?
  4. A thing, activity etc which is the object of one's deep liking or enthusiasm.
    • 1997 March, "Faces of Today's Black Woman", in Ebony, volume 52, number 5, page 96:
      But it wasn't until [Theresa M. Claiborne] went to ROTC training camp at the University of California at Berkeley that she discovered that flying was her first love. "Pilots talk about getting bit by the flying bug," she says. "I thought, This is heaven."
  5. (euphemistic) Sexual desire; attachment based on sexual attraction.
    • 2013, Ronald Long, Men, Homosexuality, and the Gods, Routledge (ISBN 9781136568237), page 3:
      The prospect that their cherished Greeks would have countenanced, much less honored, a love between men that expressed itself carnally, however, was not so easily assimilated.
  6. (euphemistic) Sexual activity.
    • 1986, Ben Elton & al., Blackadder II, "Bells":
      —What think you, my lord, of... love?
      —You mean ‘rumpy-pumpy’.
  7. An instance or episode of being in love; a love affair.
    • , E. L. Todd, Then Came Absolution (ISBN 150282342X):
      Maybe it was just a summer love, something with no future.
  8. Used as the closing, before the signature, of a letter, especially between good friends or family members, or by the young.
  9. Alternative letter-case form of Love#English|Love (“personification of love”).
    • circa 1810, Samuel Johnson (in The Works of Samuel Johnson):
      At busy hearts in vain love's arrows fly; [...]
  10. (obsolete) A thin silk material.
    • 1664, Robert Boyle, Experiments and Considerations Touching Colours, […]
      Such a kind of transparency, as that of a Sive, a piece of Cyprus, or a Love-Hood.
  11. A climbing plant, Clematis vitalba.
Synonyms Antonyms
Verb

love (loves, present participle loving; past and past participle loved)

  1. (usually, transitive, sometimes intransitive, stative) To have a strong affection for (someone or something).
    • 1918, Edgar Rice Burroughs, The Land That Time Forgot Chapter VI
      I wanted to take her in my arms and tell her how I loved her, and had taken her hand from the rail and started to draw her toward me when Olson came blundering up on deck with his bedding.
    • 2013 February 26, Pink (singer) and Nate Ruess, Just Give Me a Reason:
      Just give me a reason, / just a little bit's enough, / just a second we're not broken, just bent / and we can learn to love again.
    I love my spouse.   I love you!
  2. (transitive) To need, thrive on.
    Mold loves moist, dark places.
  3. (transitive) To be strongly inclined towards something; an emphatic form of like.
    I love walking barefoot on wet grass;  I'd love to join the team;  I love what you've done with your hair
  4. (usually, transitive, sometimes intransitive) To care deeply about, to be dedicated to (someone or something).
    • John 3:16
      For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.
    • Matthew: 37-38
      You shall love the Lord your God with your whole heart, and your whole mind, and your whole soul; you shall love your neighbor as yourself.
  5. (transitive) To derive delight from a fact or situation.
    I love the fact that the coffee shop now offers fat-free chai latte.
  6. (transitive, euphemistic) To have sex with (perhaps from make love).
    I wish I could love her all night long.
Conjugation