Definitions

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

  • noun My darling.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun My darling; darling: an Irish term of endearment.

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

  • noun darling, sweetheart

Etymologies

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

[Irish Gaelic mo mhuirnín : mo, my (from Old Irish; see me- in Indo-European roots) + muirnín, darling, diminutive of muirn, delight (from Old Irish, tumult, revels).]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

Anglo-Irish, from the Irish mo mhuirnín, from mo ‘my’ + muirnín (diminutive of muirn ‘affection’).

Examples

  • Chump, deceased, in amorous mood, had praised her management of the fan once, when breath was in him: "'Martha,' says he, winkin 'a sort of' mavourneen 'at me, ye know --' Martha! with a fan in your hand, if ye're not a black-eyed beauty of a Spaniard, ye little devil of Seville! 'says he."

    Complete Project Gutenberg Works of George Meredith

  • Chump, deceased, in amorous mood, had praised her management of the fan once, when breath was in him: "'Martha," says he, winkin 'a sort of' mavourneen 'at me, ye know --' Martha! with a fan in your hand, if ye're not a black-eyed beauty of a Spaniard, ye little devil of Seville! 'says he. "

    Sandra Belloni — Volume 3

  • Chump, deceased, in amorous mood, had praised her management of the fan once, when breath was in him: "'Martha,' says he, winkin 'a sort of' mavourneen 'at me, ye know --' Martha! with a fan in your hand, if ye're not a black-eyed beauty of a Spaniard, ye little devil of

    Sandra Belloni — Complete

  • “But they have souls, mavourneen,” Larry said to her.

    The Moon Pool

  • “What do you say, mavourneen?” asked Larry gently.

    The Moon Pool

  • “Do the best you can, mavourneen, and never mind me.”

    Australia Felix

  • Come back to Erin, mavourneen, mavourneen, and the grand resonant mournful horn of the mailboat in reply.

    At Swim, Two Boys

  • Come back to Erin, mavourneen, mavourneen, and the grand resonant mournful horn of the mailboat in reply.

    At Swim, Two Boys

  • "May Jesus and His Blessed Mother watch over you, mavourneen!" the good woman would say, with a sigh at the necessity for leaving her.

    Apples, Ripe and Rosy, Sir

  • Read us one more letther, mavourneen, before ye are off, and lave the book here.

    Live to be Useful or, The Story of Annie Lee and her Irish Nurse

Comments

Log in or sign up to get involved in the conversation. It's quick and easy.

  • a.k.a. mo mhuirní­n.

    March 5, 2007

  • "Aunt Oona's messages—except for three "Where are you, mavourneen?" inquiries—were all reminders that Sean O'Reilly was planning to read "The Passing of the Gael" at the Daughters of Ireland meeting, and the whole family was going."

    Crosstalk by Connie Willis, pp 11-12

    February 13, 2017