Definitions

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

  • n. A deep, tender, ineffable feeling of affection and solicitude toward a person, such as that arising from kinship, recognition of attractive qualities, or a sense of underlying oneness.
  • n. A feeling of intense desire and attraction toward a person with whom one is disposed to make a pair; the emotion of sex and romance.
  • n. Sexual passion.
  • n. Sexual intercourse.
  • n. A love affair.
  • n. An intense emotional attachment, as for a pet or treasured object.
  • n. A person who is the object of deep or intense affection or attraction; beloved. Often used as a term of endearment.
  • n. An expression of one's affection: Send him my love.
  • n. A strong predilection or enthusiasm: a love of language.
  • n. The object of such an enthusiasm: The outdoors is her greatest love.
  • n. Mythology Eros or Cupid.
  • n. Christianity Charity.
  • n. Sports A zero score in tennis.
  • transitive v. To have a deep, tender, ineffable feeling of affection and solicitude toward (a person): We love our parents. I love my friends.
  • transitive v. To have a feeling of intense desire and attraction toward (a person).
  • transitive v. To have an intense emotional attachment to: loves his house.
  • transitive v. To embrace or caress.
  • transitive v. To have sexual intercourse with.
  • transitive v. To like or desire enthusiastically: loves swimming.
  • transitive v. Theology To have charity for.
  • transitive v. To thrive on; need: The cactus loves hot, dry air.
  • intransitive v. To experience deep affection or intense desire for another.
  • idiom for love Out of compassion; with no thought for a reward: She volunteers at the hospital for love.
  • idiom for love or money Under any circumstances. Usually used in negative sentences: I would not do that for love or money.
  • idiom for the love of For the sake of; in consideration for: did it all for the love of praise.
  • idiom in love Deeply or passionately enamored: a young couple in love.
  • idiom in love Highly or immoderately fond: in love with Japanese painting; in love with the sound of her own voice.
  • idiom no love lost No affection; animosity: There's no love lost between them.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. Zero, no score.
  • n. An intense feeling of affection and care towards another person.
  • n. A deep or abiding liking for something.
  • n. A profound and caring attraction towards someone.
  • n. The object of one’s romantic feelings; a darling or sweetheart.
  • n. A term of friendly address, regardless of feelings.
  • n. A sexual desire; sexual activity.
  • n. Used as the closing, before the signature, of a letter, especially between good friends or family members, or by the young.
  • v. To have a strong affection for.
  • v. To need, thrive on.
  • v. To be strongly inclined towards something; an emphatic form of like.
  • v. To care deeply about, to be dedicated to.
  • v. To derive delight from a fact or situation.
  • v. To lust for.
  • v. To have sex with, (perhaps from make love.)
  • v. To praise; commend.
  • v. To praise as of value; prize; set a price on.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A feeling of strong attachment induced by that which delights or commands admiration; preëminent kindness or devotion to another; affection; tenderness.
  • n. Especially, devoted attachment to, or tender or passionate affection for, one of the opposite sex.
  • n. Courtship; -- chiefly in the phrase to make love, i. e., to court, to woo, to solicit union in marriage.
  • n. Affection; kind feeling; friendship; strong liking or desire; fondness; good will; -- opposed to hate; often with of and an object.
  • n. Due gratitude and reverence to God.
  • n. The object of affection; -- often employed in endearing address.
  • n. Cupid, the god of love; sometimes, Venus.
  • n. A thin silk stuff.
  • n. A climbing species of Clematis (Clematis Vitalba).
  • n. Nothing; no points scored on one side; -- used in counting score at tennis, etc.
  • n. Sexual intercourse; -- a euphemism.
  • transitive v. To have a feeling of love for; to regard with affection or good will
  • transitive v. To regard with passionate and devoted affection, as that of one sex for the other.
  • transitive v. To take delight or pleasure in; to have a strong liking or desire for, or interest in; to be pleased with; to like
  • intransitive v. To have the feeling of love; to be in love.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • To regard with a strong feeling of affection; hold dear; have a strong regard for.
  • Specifically, to regard (one of the opposite sex) with the admiration and devotion characteristic of the sexual relation; be in love with.
  • To have a strong liking, craving, or appetite for; like; take pleasure in; delight in: followed by a noun or an infinitive.
  • To caress; show affection by caresses: a childish use of the word.
  • To have strong affection; especially, to be passionately attached to one of the opposite sex.
  • n. The principle of sympathetic or pleasurable attraction in sentient and thinking beings; that feeling of predilection or solicitude for, or delight in, certain individuals or classes, principles, qualities, or things, which excites a strong desire or craving for the welfare, companionship, possession, enjoyment, or promotion of its object or objects; the yearning desire (whether right or perverted) for what is thought to be best in any relation or from any point of view.
  • n. Intimate personal affection between individuals of opposite sex capable of intermarriage; the emotional incentive to and normal basis of conjugal union: as, to be in love; to marry for love.
  • n. A beloved person; an object of affectionate interest, as a sweetheart or a husband or wife: often also used in address as a term of endearment.
  • n. [capitalized] A personification of the passion of love; sexual attraction imagined as an independent power external to its subject: applied especially to Cupid (more properly Amor) or Eros, the classical god of love, and more rarely to Venus or Aphrodite, the goddess of love.
  • n. An embodiment or a representation of Cupid; one of a class of beings poetically imagined as devoted to the interests of lovers, and depicted as winged boys.
  • n. Gratification of a sexual passion or desire, as in an illicit relation.
  • n. A kindness; something done in token of love.
  • n. A thin silk stuff. One variety, soft and translucent, was used for veils. See love-ribbon.
  • n. In some games, nothing: a term indicating that no points have been scored: as, the game was two, love (that is, two points on one side and nothing on the other); love all (all the players have failed to score).
  • n. An old game in which one holds up one or more fingers, and another, without looking, guesses at the number.
  • n. The plant Clematis Vitalba, the virgin's-bower or traveler's-joy.
  • n. Synonyms and Love, Liking, Predilection, Attachment, Affection, Fondness, Devotion; friendship, kindness, tenderness, delight, partiality, charity (theological). As between persons, love is the most general of these words, covering much the widest range, both in degree and in kind. Liking is the weakest. Predilection goes a little further, but is only a preparatory liking or readiness to love. Attachment has much of the notion implied in its derivation; it is a love that binds one to another, an unwillingness to be separated. Affection is generally a regulated and conscious love or attachment; it goes deeper than attachment. Attachment and especially affection are often the refined and mellowed fruit of the passion of love. Fondness, originally a foolish tenderness, is not yet altogether redeemed from that idea; it may be an unreasoning and doting attachment, and is never very high in quality. Devotion is a sort of consecration or dedication to the object of one's feeling, an intense loyalty, as to a superior—a constant service. See esteem.
  • To praise; commend.
  • To praise as of value; prize; set a price on.
  • n. In Tasmania, the blue-creeper, Comesperma volubile.

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

  • n. any object of warm affection or devotion
  • n. a deep feeling of sexual desire and attraction
  • n. sexual activities (often including sexual intercourse) between two people
  • v. have a great affection or liking for
  • n. a strong positive emotion of regard and affection
  • v. have sexual intercourse with
  • n. a score of zero in tennis or squash
  • n. a beloved person; used as terms of endearment
  • v. be enamored or in love with
  • v. get pleasure from

Etymologies

Middle English, from Old English lufu; see leubh- in Indo-European roots.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From the phrase Neither for love nor for money, meaning "nothing". (Wiktionary)
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. (Wiktionary)
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"). (Wiktionary)
From Middle English loven, lovien, from Old English lofian ("to praise, exalt, appraise, value"), from Proto-Germanic *lubōnan (“to praise, vow”), from *luban (“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. (Wiktionary)

Examples

Comments

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  • "In Tasmania, the blue creeper."

    Urrghh. Why always me?

    p.s. You'd have to allow for half-finger guesses given the extent of the sawmill industry around here.

    February 6, 2013

  • If the truth is known, I do love love on its own merits.

    I especially love this CD&C definition: "An old game in which one holds up one or more fingers, and another, without looking, guesses at the number."

    Edit: I also love the one about the love-ribbon.

    February 6, 2013

  • Somehow that feels like cheating, but it can't really be since you make the rules for your list...

    February 6, 2013

  • I just loved (or "favorited") this word, but only so I could add it to my recently-loved-words list.

    February 6, 2013

  • Something's happened to me. I've stopped abstracting. this is love: you stop bothering about the universal, the general, get sucked instead into the local and particular: When will I see her again? What shall we do today? Do you like these shoes? Theory and reflection are delicate old uncles bustled out of the way by boisterous nephews action and desire. Themes evaporate, only plot remains. From "The Last Werewolf" by Glen Duncan.

    I love this quote (pun intended) because unlike most of the definitions it emphasises that love is actually more commonly an active verb not just a passive experience or noun.

    March 26, 2012

  • Have y'all analyzed the most commented on words yet? This one must be up there :-) ❤

    February 2, 2012

  • A little difficult!~What do you think?

    December 15, 2011

  • anyone have a good definition? the definitions are horrid. I swear the definitions were written by the 'i like turtles' kid.

    what. the. f___. is. love?

    May 6, 2011

  • That's exactly what I love about the Century Dictionary! Did you see CD 16?

    March 21, 2011

  • CD 20 prods me to snigger.

    Make it stop!

    March 21, 2011

  • what the hell are you? if you emo how do you know what love is? BRAPTING1

    January 18, 2011

  • My whole life (meaning ever since I was nineteen) I have been trying to ascertain the quiddity of love. Obviously, such remains elusive.

    November 21, 2010

  • lol. good answers ;)

    November 21, 2010

  • I do. But I'm not telling you.

    November 21, 2010

  • Who does?

    November 20, 2010

  • I don't understand what it is.

    November 20, 2010

  • :-) Thank you, Prolagus.

    July 24, 2010

  • Love always wins.
    (Cf. hate, hatred, and like.)

    July 24, 2010

  • Love has been looked up 3,947 times, favorited 16 times, listed 253 times, commented on 21 times, and has a Scrabble score of 7.

    July 24, 2010

  • Lea, I just now noticed your pun! Voletile! Very nice.

    March 3, 2009

  • calm and fun/nice, I like it. On the other hand, a Russian friend pronounces my name Ролик (Rólik), which means "ball bearing" in her language…

    March 3, 2009

  • Rolig also means calm in Danish.

    March 3, 2009

  • I didn't know that, Lea, that's really nice!

    Pro, I only said that for the joke. I do have a lovely boyfriend, who's not at all volish. But it's true about the cats. They're well-fed.

    March 3, 2009

  • Cat ladies are good to have around, rolig. ;o} I am going to join the club some day. (Hey you, rolig means fun/nice in swedish, so, if nomen est omen, you are going to be just fine...) Vole is a new word for me... Maybe your boyfriends have been voletile....? Hmmph. I got madeupical away, didn't I?

    March 3, 2009

  • You are single?! Men have such bad taste.

    March 3, 2009

  • I always get this confused with vole. No wonder it's so hard finding keeping a boyfriend. But on the other hand, my cats are well-fed.

    *Sings: "Lookin' for vole in all the wrong places…"*

    March 3, 2009

  • H♥me. Where ever it is. People who talk about love excessively are usually the ones who do not know a thing about it... ;o| That is my sad, personal, experience.

    March 3, 2009

  • "Love, and do what you like." -- St. Augustine

    March 2, 2009

  • I Love Me, vol. I

    October 18, 2008

  • *quickly flips his League Of Villainous Entities membership card face down*

    October 15, 2008

  • hello

    October 15, 2008

  • The Love Attitude Scale (LAS), including movie and book examples of various types of love.

    August 23, 2008

  • See How 8-year-old Kids Describe Love.

    May 21, 2008

  • "...Love all things--not because it is your duty to do so, but because all things are worthy of your love. Hate nothing. Fear nothing. Have absolute faith. Whoso will do this is wise; he is more than wise--he is happy."

    --Concluding paragraph: Man's Moral Nature, An Essay by Richard Maurice Bucke, M.D.

    March 30, 2008

  • This is hot.

    June 24, 2007

  • For those who believe in God, most of the big questions are answered. But for those of us who can't readily accept the God formula, the big answers don't remain stone-written. We adjust to new conditions and discoveries. We are pliable. Love need not be a command or faith a dictum. I am my own God. We are here to unlearn the teachings of the church, state, and our educational system. We are here to drink beer. We are here to kill war. We are here to laugh at the odds and live our lives so well that Death will tremble to take us.

    -Charles Bukowski

    April 8, 2007

  • ...Consider the word "love". It has many meanings which we recognize as soon as we consider the difference between romantic love and conjugal love, the difference between the love that parents readily bestow upon their children and the love that children slowly develop for their parents. All these meanings of the word — all these kinds of love — have something in common. All are related aspects of a single, very large idea — the idea of love. But as most people employ the word in ordinary speech, they have only a small part of this idea in mind; and when young people use it they seldom have in mind the same part that older people have. Few who use the word ever have the whole idea in mind, for it takes a lifetime of experience and thought to comprehend it fully...
    --excerpt from "What is an Idea", 1958, by Mortimer Adler

    December 27, 2006

  • "Crazy Little Thing Called Love" by Queen.

    December 21, 2006

  • see wuv

    December 6, 2006