Etymology: Middle English, from Old English lufu; akin to Old High German luba love, Old English l?of dear, Latin lub?re, lib?re to please
Date: before 12th century
1 a (1) : strong affection for another arising out of kinship or personal ties <maternal love for a child> (2) : attraction based on sexual desire : affection and tenderness felt by lovers (3) : affection based on admiration, benevolence, or common interests <love for his old schoolmates> b : an assurance of love <give her my love>
2 : warm attachment, enthusiasm, or devotion <love of the sea>
3 a : the object of attachment, devotion, or admiration <baseball was his first love> b (1) : a beloved person : darling —often used as a term of endearment (2) British —used as an informal term of address
4 a : unselfish loyal and benevolent concern for the good of another: as (1) : the fatherly concern of God for humankind (2) : brotherly concern for others b : a person’s adoration of God
5 : a god or personification of love
6 : an amorous episode : love affair
7 : the sexual embrace : copulation
8 : a score of zero (as in tennis)
9 capitalized Christian Science : god
— at love : holding one’s opponent scoreless in tennis
— in love : inspired by affection
1. a profoundly tender, passionate affection for another person.
2. a feeling of warm personal attachment or deep affection, as for a parent, child, or friend.
3. sexual passion or desire.
4. a person toward whom love is felt; beloved person; sweetheart.
5. (used in direct address as a term of endearment, affection, or the like): Would you like to see a movie, love?
6. a love affair; an intensely amorous incident; amour.
7. sexual intercourse; copulation.
8. ( initial capital letter
) a personification of sexual affection, as Eros or Cupid.
9. affectionate concern for the well-being of others: the love of one’s neighbor.
10. strong predilection, enthusiasm, or liking for anything: her love of books.
11. the object or thing so liked: The theater was her great love.
12. the benevolent affection of god
for His creatures, or the reverent affection due from them to God.
13. Chiefly Tennis . a score of zero; nothing.
14. a word formerly used in communications to represent the letter L.
–verb (used with object)
15. to have love or affection for: All her pupils love her.
16. to have a profoundly tender, passionate affection for (another person).
17. to have a strong liking for; take great pleasure in: to love music.
18. to need or require; benefit greatly from: Plants love sunlight.
19. to embrace and kiss (someone), as a lover.
20. to have sexual intercourse with.
–verb (used without object)
21. to have love or affection for another person; be in love.
22. love up, to hug and cuddle: She loves him up every chance she gets.
a. out of affection or liking; for pleasure.
b. without compensation; gratuitously: He took care of the poor for love.
24. for the love of, in consideration of; for the sake of: For the love of mercy, stop that noise.
25. in love, infused with or feeling deep affection or passion: a youth always in love.
26. in love with, feeling deep affection or passion for (a person, idea, occupation, etc.); enamored of: in love with the girl next door; in love with one’s work.
27. make love,
a. to embrace and kiss as lovers.
b. to engage in sexual activity.
28. no love lost, dislike; animosity: There was no love lost between the two brothers.
Synonyms: adulation, affection, allegiance, amity, amorousness, amour, appreciation, ardency, ardor, attachment, case*, cherishing, crush, delight, devotedness, devotion, emotion, enchantment, enjoyment, fervor, fidelity, flame, fondness, friendship, hankering, idolatry, inclination, infatuation, involvement, like, lust, mad for, partiality, passion, piety, rapture, regard, relish, respect, sentiment, soft spot, taste, tenderness, weakness, worship, yearning, zeal
bef. 900; (n.) ME; OE lufu, c. OFris luve, OHG luba, Goth lub?; (v.) ME lov ( i ) en, OE lufian; c. OFris luvia, OHG lub?n to love, L lub?re (later lib?re ) to be pleasing; akin to lief
“love.” Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary. 2010. Merriam-Webster Online. 30 May 2010. <http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/love>
“love.” Dictionary.com Unabridged. Random House, Inc. 30 May. 2010. <Dictionary.com http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/love>.
love.” Roget’s 21st Century Thesaurus, Third Edition. Philip Lief Group 2009. 30 May. 2010. <Thesaurus.com http://www.thesaurus.com/browse/love>.