1. A strong feeling of affection and concern toward another person, as that arising from kinship or close friendship.
2. A strong feeling of affection and concern for another person accompanied by sexual attraction.
a. A feeling of devotion or adoration toward God or a god.
b. A feeling of kindness or concern by God or a god toward humans.
c. often Love Christianity Charity.
a. Sexual desire or activity: the pleasures of love; a night of love.
b. An instance of being in love: Teenage loves can be as fleeting as they are intense.
a. A person for whom one has strong feelings of affection: She met her new love at the restaurant.
b. Used as a term of endearment for such a person.
6. An intense emotional attachment to something, as to a pet or treasured object.
7. An expression of one's affection: Send him my love.
a. A strong predilection or enthusiasm: a love of language; love for the game of golf.
b. The object of such an enthusiasm: The outdoors is her greatest love.
9. Love Mythology Eros or Cupid.
10. Sports A score of zero, as in tennis.
v. loved, lov·ing, loves
1. To feel love for (a person): We love our parents. I love my friends.
2. To feel sexual love for (a person).
a. To feel devotion to (God or a god).
b. To feel or show kindness or concern to (a person). Used of God or a god.
4. To have an intense emotional attachment to: loves his house.
a. To embrace or caress: They were loving each other on the sofa.
b. To have sexual intercourse with.
6. To like or desire enthusiastically: loves swimming.
7. To thrive on; need: The cactus loves hot, dry air.
To feel love or sexual love for another.
Out of compassion; with no thought for a reward: She volunteers at the hospital for love.
for love or money
Under any circumstances. Usually used in negative sentences: I would not do that for love or money.
for the love of
For the sake of; in consideration for: did it all for the love of praise.
1. Deeply or passionately enamored: a young couple in love.
2. Highly or immoderately fond: in love with Japanese painting; in love with the sound of her own voice.
no love lost
No affection; animosity: There's no love lost between them.
[Middle English, from Old English lufu; see leubh- in the Appendix of Indo-European roots.]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2020 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.