1. A feeling of strong attachment induced by that which delights or commands admiration; preëminent kindness or devotion to another; affection; tenderness; as, the love of brothers and sisters.
Of all the dearest bonds we prove
Thou countest sons' and mothers' love
Most sacred, most Thine own. --Keble.
2. Especially, devoted attachment to, or tender or passionate affection for, one of the opposite sex.
He on his side
Leaning half-raised, with looks of cordial love
Hung over her enamored. --Milton.
3. Courtship; -- chiefly in the phrase to make love, i. e., to court, to woo, to solicit union in marriage.
Demetrius . . .
Made love to Nedar's daughter, Helena,
And won her soul. --Shak.
4. Affection; kind feeling; friendship; strong liking or desire; fondness; good will; -- opposed to hate; often with of and an object.
Love, and health to all. --Shak.
Smit with the love of sacred song. --Milton.
The love of science faintly warmed his breast. --Fenton.
5. Due gratitude and reverence to God.
Keep yourselves in the love of God. --Jude 21.
6. The object of affection; -- often employed in endearing address; as, he held his love in his arms; his greatest love was reading. “Trust me, love.”
Open the temple gates unto my love. --Spenser.
7. Cupid, the god of love; sometimes, Venus.
Such was his form as painters, when they show
Their utmost art, on naked Lores bestow. --Dryden.
Therefore do nimble-pinioned doves draw Love. --Shak.
8. A thin silk stuff. [Obs.]
9. Bot. A climbing species of Clematis (Clematis Vitalba).
10. Nothing; no points scored on one side; -- used in counting score at tennis, etc.
He won the match by three sets to love. --The Field.
Note: ☞ Love is often used in the formation of compounds, in most of which the meaning is very obvious; as, love-cracked, love-darting, love-killing, love-linked, love-taught, etc.
A labor of love, a labor undertaken on account of regard for some person, or through pleasure in the work itself, without expectation of reward.
Free love, the doctrine or practice of consorting with one of the opposite sex, at pleasure, without marriage. See Free love.
Free lover, one who avows or practices free love.
In love, in the act of loving; -- said esp. of the love of the sexes; as, to be in love; to fall in love.
Love apple Bot., the tomato.
Love bird Zool., any one of several species of small, short-tailed parrots, or parrakeets, of the genus Agapornis, and allied genera. They are mostly from Africa. Some species are often kept as cage birds, and are celebrated for the affection which they show for their mates.
Love broker, a person who for pay acts as agent between lovers, or as a go-between in a sexual intrigue. --Shak.
Love charm, a charm for exciting love. --Ld. Lytton.
Love child. an illegitimate child. --Jane Austen.
Love day, a day formerly appointed for an amicable adjustment of differences. [Obs.] --Piers Plowman. --Chaucer.
Love drink, a love potion; a philter. --Chaucer.
Love favor, something given to be worn in token of love.
Love feast, a religious festival, held quarterly by some religious denominations, as the Moravians and Methodists, in imitation of the agapæ of the early Christians.
Love feat, the gallant act of a lover. --Shak.
Love game, a game, as in tennis, in which the vanquished person or party does not score a point.
Love-in-a-mist. Bot. (a) An herb of the Buttercup family (Nigella Damascena) having the flowers hidden in a maze of finely cut bracts. (b) The West Indian Passiflora fœtida, which has similar bracts.
Love-in-idleness Bot., a kind of violet; the small pansy.
A little western flower,
Before milk-white, now purple with love's wound;
And maidens call it love-in-idleness. --Shak.
-- Love juice, juice of a plant supposed to produce love. --Shak.
Love knot, a knot or bow, as of ribbon; -- so called from being used as a token of love, or as a pledge of mutual affection. --Milman.
Love lass, a sweetheart.
Love letter, a letter of courtship. --Shak.
Love-lies-bleeding Bot., a species of amaranth (Amarantus melancholicus).
Love match, a marriage brought about by love alone.
Love potion, a compounded draught intended to excite love, or venereal desire.
Love rites, sexual intercourse. --Pope
Love scene, an exhibition of love, as between lovers on the stage.
Love suit, courtship. --Shak.
Of all loves, for the sake of all love; by all means. [Obs.] “Mrs. Arden desired him of all loves to come back again.” --Holinshed.
The god of love, or The Love god, Cupid.
To make love, to engage in sexual intercourse; -- a euphemism.
To make love to, to express affection for; to woo. “If you will marry, make your loves to me.” --Shak.
To play for love, to play a game, as at cards, without stakes. “A game at piquet for love.” --Lamb.
Syn: -- Affection; friendship; kindness; tenderness; fondness; delight.
Love v. t. [imp. & p. p. Loved p. pr. & vb. n. Loving.]
1. To have a feeling of love for; to regard with affection or good will; as, to love one's children and friends; to love one's country; to love one's God.
Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. --Matt. xxii. 37.
Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thy self. --Matt. xxii. 39.
2. To regard with passionate and devoted affection, as that of one sex for the other.
3. To take delight or pleasure in; to have a strong liking or desire for, or interest in; to be pleased with; to like; as, to love books; to love adventures.
Wit, eloquence, and poetry.
Arts which I loved. --Cowley.
Love, v. i. To have the feeling of love; to be in love.
n 1: a strong positive emotion of regard and affection; "his love
for his work"; "children need a lot of love" [ant: hate]
2: any object of warm affection or devotion; "the theater was
her first love" or "he has a passion for cock fighting";
3: a beloved person; used as terms of endearment [syn: beloved,
dear, dearest, loved one, honey]
4: a deep feeling of sexual desire and attraction; "their love
left them indifferent to their surroundings"; "she was his
5: a score of zero in tennis or squash; "it was 40 love"
6: sexual activities (often including sexual intercourse)
between two people; "his lovemaking disgusted her"; "he
hadn't had any love in months"; "he has a very complicated
love life" [syn: sexual love, lovemaking, making love,
v 1: have a great affection or liking for; "I love French food";
"She loves her boss and works hard for him" [ant: hate]
2: get pleasure from; "I love cooking" [syn: enjoy]
3: be enamored or in love with; "She loves her husband deeply"
4: have sexual intercourse with; "This student sleeps with
everyone in her dorm"; "Adam knew Eve"; "Were you ever
intimate with this man?" [syn: roll in the hay, make
out, make love, sleep with, get laid, have sex, know,
do it, be intimate, have intercourse, have it away,
have it off, screw, fuck, jazz, eff, hump, lie
with, bed, have a go at it, bang, get it on, bonk]
This word seems to require explanation only in the case of its
use by our Lord in his interview with "Simon, the son of Jonas,"
after his resurrection (John 21:16, 17). When our Lord says,
"Lovest thou me?" he uses the Greek word _agapas_; and when
Simon answers, he uses the Greek word _philo_, i.e., "I love."
This is the usage in the first and second questions put by our
Lord; but in the third our Lord uses Simon's word. The
distinction between these two Greek words is thus fitly
described by Trench:, "_Agapan_ has more of judgment and
deliberate choice; _philein_ has more of attachment and peculiar
personal affection. Thus the 'Lovest thou' (Gr. agapas) on the
lips of the Lord seems to Peter at this moment too cold a word,
as though his Lord were keeping him at a distance, or at least
not inviting him to draw near, as in the passionate yearning of
his heart he desired now to do. Therefore he puts by the word
and substitutes his own stronger 'I love' (Gr. philo) in its
room. A second time he does the same. And now he has conquered;
for when the Lord demands a third time whether he loves him, he
does it in the word which alone will satisfy Peter ('Lovest
thou,' Gr. phileis), which alone claims from him that personal
attachment and affection with which indeed he knows that his
heart is full."
In 1 Cor. 13 the apostle sets forth the excellency of love, as
the word "charity" there is rendered in the Revised Version.