Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun A dearly beloved person.
  • noun One that is greatly liked or preferred; a favorite.
  • adjective Dearly beloved.
  • adjective Regarded with special favor; favorite.
  • adjective Informal Charming or amusing.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun One who is very dear; one much beloved; a special favorite.
  • Very dear; peculiarly beloved; favorite; regarded with great affection and tenderness; lovingly cherished: as, a darling child.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • adjective Dearly beloved; regarded with especial kindness and tenderness; favorite.
  • noun One dearly beloved; a favorite.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun A person who is dear to one.
  • adjective Dear; cherished.
  • adjective charming

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • adjective dearly loved
  • noun a special loved one
  • noun an Australian river; tributary of the Murray River

Etymologies

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

[Middle English dereling, from Old English dēorling : dēore, dear + -ling, diminutive suff.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Middle English derling, from Old English dēorling ("darling, favorite, minion", also "household god"), corresponding to dear +‎ -ling.

Examples

Comments

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  • This is what the Thai lady who sells mangoes at the Sunday market calls me. Actually she calls everyone darling. But I know I'm special because this morning she said, "And here's an extra mango just for you, darling."

    October 12, 2008

  • an Australian language also known as Kula

    June 15, 2009