• Love


    • UK IPA: /lʌv/, lɐv
    • US IPA: /lʌv/
    • Rhymes: -ʌv

    Origin 1

    From Middle English love, luve, from Old English lufu ("love, affection, desire"), from Proto-Germanic *lubō ("love"), from Proto-Indo-European *lewbʰ-, *leubʰ- ("love, care, desire"). Cognate with Old Frisian luve ("love"), Old High German luba ("love"). Related to Old English lēof ("dear, beloved"), līefan ("to allow, approve of"), Latin libet, lubō ("to please") and Albanian lyp ("to beg, ask insistently"), lips ("to be demanded, needed"), Serbo-Croatian ljubiti, ljubav, Russian любовь, любить.

    The closing-of-a-letter sense is Unknown a truncation of With love or the like.

    Full definition of love



    (countable and uncountable; plural loves)
    1. (uncountable) Strong affection.
      1. An intense feeling of affection and care towards another person.
        A mother’s love is not easily shaken.
        • 1898, Winston Churchill, The Celebrity Chapter 8, The humor of my proposition appealed more strongly to Miss Trevor than I had looked for, and from that time forward she became her old self again; for, even after she had conquered her love for the Celebrity, the mortification of having been jilted by him remained.
      2. A deep or abiding liking for something.
        My love of cricket knows no bounds.
      3. A profound and caring attraction towards someone.
        Your love is the most important thing in my life.
        • John Milton (1608-1674)He on his side
          Leaning half-raised, with looks of cordial love
          Hung over her enamoured.
    2. (countable) The object of one’s romantic feelings; a darling or sweetheart.
      I met my love by the gasworks wall.
    3. (colloquial) A term of friendly address, regardless of feelings.
      Hello, love, how can I help you?
    4. (euphemistic) A sexual desire; sexual activity.
      • 1968, Tommy James and the Shondells, Mony Mony''She give me love and I feel alright
    5. Used as the closing, before the signature, of a letter, especially between good friends or family members, or by the young.
    6. (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.
    7. A climbing plant, Clematis vitalba.



    Origin 2

    From Middle English loven, lovien, from Old English lufian ("to love, cherish, sow love to; fondle, caress; delight in, approve, practice"), from the noun lufu ("love"). See above. Compare West Frisian leavje ("to love"), German lieben ("to love").


    1. (transitive) To have a strong affection for.
      • 1918, Edgar Rice Burroughs, The Land That Time Forgot (novel) Chapter VI"I know how difficult your position is," I said; "but don't feel that you are alone. There is—is one here who—who would do anything in the world for you," I ended lamely. She did not withdraw her hand, and she looked up into my face with tears on her cheeks and I read in her eyes the thanks her lips could not voice. Then she looked away across the weird moonlit landscape and sighed. Evidently her new-found philosophy had tumbled about her ears, for she was seemingly taking herself seriously. 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.
    2. I love my spouse;  I love you
    3. (transitive) To need, thrive on.
      Mold loves moist, dark places.
    4. (transitive, colloquial) 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
    5. (transitive) To care deeply about, to be dedicated to.
      • John 3:16For 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: 37-38You 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.
      • 2013-06-21, Oliver Burkeman, The tao of tech, The dirty secret of the internet is that all this distraction and interruption is immensely profitable. Web companies like to boast about , or offering services that let you... "share the things you love with the world" and so on. But the real way to build a successful online business is to be better than your rivals at undermining people's control of their own attention.
    6. (transitive) To derive delight from a fact or situation.
      I love the fact that the coffee shop now offers fat-free chai latte.
    7. (transitive) To lust for.
    8. (transitive, euphemistic) To have sex with, (perhaps from make love.)
      I wish I could love her all night long.


    Related terms

    Origin 3

    From Middle English loven, lovien, from Old English lofian ("to praise, exalt, appraise, value"), from Proto-Germanic *lubōną ("to praise, vow"), from *lubą ("praise"), from Proto-Indo-European *leubʰ- ("to like, love, desire"), *lewbʰ-. Cognate with Scots love, lofe ("to praise, honour, esteem"), Dutch loven ("to praise"), German loben ("to praise"), Swedish lova ("to promise, pledge"), Icelandic lofa ("to promise"). See also lofe.


    1. (transitive, obsolete or UK dialectal) To praise; commend.
    2. (transitive, obsolete or UK dialectal) To praise as of value; prize; set a price on.

    Origin 4

    From the phrase Neither for love nor for money, meaning "nothing".

    The previously held belief that it originated from the French term l’œuf ("the egg"), due to its shape, is no longer widely accepted.



    1. (racquet sports) Zero, no score.So that’s fifteen-love to Kournikova.
      • The FieldHe won the match by three sets to love.
      • John Betjeman, A Subaltern's Love SongLove-thirty, love-forty, oh! weakness of joy,
        The speed of a swallow, the grace of a boy,
        With carefullest carelessness, gaily you won,
        I am weak from your loveliness, Joan Hunter Dunn.


    © Wiktionary