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

  • n. A dearly beloved person.
  • n. One that is greatly liked or preferred; a favorite: "the pride and vanity of the rich, the darlings of fate” ( Mario Puzo).
  • adj. Dearly beloved.
  • adj. Regarded with special favor; favorite: "Metaphysics and poetry . . . are my darling studies” ( Samuel Taylor Coleridge).
  • adj. Informal Charming or amusing: a darling hat.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A person who is dear to one.
  • adj. Dear; cherished.
  • adj. charming

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • adj. Dearly beloved; regarded with especial kindness and tenderness; favorite.
  • n. One dearly beloved; a favorite.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. 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 WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • adj. dearly loved
  • n. a special loved one
  • n. an Australian river; tributary of the Murray River


Middle English dereling, from Old English dēorling : dēore, dear + -ling, diminutive suff.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Middle English derling, from Old English dēorling ("darling, favorite, minion", also "household god"), corresponding to dear +‎ -ling. (Wiktionary)



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  • an Australian language also known as Kula

    June 15, 2009

  • 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