What does love mean?

Definitions for love

This dictionary definitions page includes all the possible meanings, example usage and translations of the word love.

Princeton's WordNet

  1. lovenoun

    a strong positive emotion of regard and affection

    "his love for his work"; "children need a lot of love"

  2. love, passionnoun

    any object of warm affection or devotion

    "the theater was her first love"; "he has a passion for cock fighting";

  3. beloved, dear, dearest, honey, lovenoun

    a beloved person; used as terms of endearment

  4. love, sexual love, erotic lovenoun

    a deep feeling of sexual desire and attraction

    "their love left them indifferent to their surroundings"; "she was his first love"

  5. lovenoun

    a score of zero in tennis or squash

    "it was 40 love"

  6. sexual love, lovemaking, making love, love, love lifeverb

    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"

  7. loveverb

    have a great affection or liking for

    "I love French food"; "She loves her boss and works hard for him"

  8. love, enjoyverb

    get pleasure from

    "I love cooking"

  9. loveverb

    be enamored or in love with

    "She loves her husband deeply"

  10. sleep together, roll in the hay, love, 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, bonkverb

    have sexual intercourse with

    "This student sleeps with everyone in her dorm"; "Adam knew Eve"; "Were you ever intimate with this man?"


  1. Lovenoun

    Sexual intercourse; -- a euphemism.


  1. Lovenoun

    An English surname.

  2. Etymology: From the phrase, meaning "nothing".

Samuel Johnson's Dictionary

  1. Lovenoun

    Etymology: from the verb.

    Hearken to the birds love-learned song,
    The dewie leaves among! Edmund Spenser, Epithalam.

    While idly I stood looking on,
    I found th’ effect of love in idleness. William Shakespeare.

    My tales of love were wont to weary you;
    I know you joy not in a love discourse. William Shakespeare.

    What! have I ’scaped love letters in the holiday-time of my beauty, and am I now a subject for them? William Shakespeare.

    I look’d upon her with a soldier’s eye,
    That lik’d, but had a rougher task in hand
    Than to drive liking to the name of love. William Shakespeare.

    What need a vermil-tinctur’d lip for that,
    Love-darting eyes, or tresses like the morn. John Milton.

    Love quarrels oft in pleasing concord end,
    Not wedlock treachery, endang’ring life. John Milton, Agon.

    A love potion works more by the strength of charm than nature. Jeremy Collier, on Popularity.

    You know y’ are in my pow’r by making love. Dryden.

    Let mutual joys our mutual trust combine,
    And love, and love-born confidence be thine. Alexander Pope.

    Cold is that breast which warm’d the world before,
    And these love-darting eyes must roll no more. Alexander Pope.

    Death grin on me, and I will think thou smil’st,
    And kiss me as thy wife; misery’s love,
    O come to me! William Shakespeare, King John.

    What love, think’st thou, I sue so much to get?
    My love till death, my humble thanks, my prayers;
    That love which virtue begs, and virtue grants. William Shakespeare.

    God brought Daniel into favour and tender love with the prince. Dan. i. 9.

    The one preach Christ of contention, but the other of love. Phil. i. 17.

    By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another. Rom. xiii. 35.

    Unwearied have we spent the nights,
    Till the Ledean stars, so fam’d for love,
    Wonder’d at us from above. Abraham Cowley.

    Made love to Nedar’s daughter Helena,
    And won her soul. William Shakespeare, Midsummer Night’s Dream.

    If you will marry make your loves to me,
    My lady is bespoke. William Shakespeare, King Lear.

    I to your assistance do make love,
    Masking the business from the common eye. William Shakespeare.

    The enquiry of truth, which is the love-making or wooing of it; the knowledge of truth, the preference of it; and the belief of truth, the enjoying of it, is the sovereign good of human nature. Francis Bacon, Essays.

    No religion that ever, was so fully represents the goodness of God, and his tender love to mankind, which is the most powerful argument to the love of God. John Tillotson, Sermons.

    Open the temple gates unto my love. Edmund Spenser.

    If that the world and love were young,
    And truth in every shepherd’s tongue;
    These pretty pleasures might me move,
    To live with thee, and be thy love. William Shakespeare.

    The banish’d never hopes his love to see. Dryden.

    The lover and the love of human kind. Alexander Pope.

    He is not lolling on a lewd love bed,
    But on his knees at meditation. William Shakespeare, Rich. III.

    The love to sin makes a man sin against his own reason. Jeremy Taylor, holy living.

    Men in love with their opinions may not only suppose what is in question, but allege wrong matter of fact. John Locke.

    Come love and health to all!
    Then I’ll sit down: give me some wine; fill full. William Shakespeare.

    Shall I come unto you with a rod, or in love, and in the spirit of meekness? 1 Cor. iv. 21.

    Love is the great instrument of nature, the bond and cement of society, the spirit and spring of the universe: love is such an affection as cannot so properly be said to be in the soul, as the soul to be in that: it is the whole man wrapt up into one desire. Robert South, Sermons.

    The lovely babe was born with ev’ry grace:
    Such was his form as painters, when they show
    Their utmost art, on naked loves bestow. John Dryden, Ovid.

    ’Tis no dishonour, trust me, love, ’tis none;
    I would die for thee. John Dryden, Don Sebastian.

    I know that you have not the love of God in you. John.

    Love is of two sorts, of friendship and of desire; the one betwixt friends, the other betwixt lovers; the one a rational, the other a sensitive love: so our love of God consists of two parts, as esteeming of God, and desiring of him. Henry Hammond.

    The love of God makes a man chaste without the laborious arts of fasting, and exterior disciplines; he reaches at glory without any other arms but those of love. Taylor.

    This leaf held near the eye, and obverted to the light, appeared so full of pores, with such a transparency as that of a sieve, a piece of cypress, or lovehood. Robert Boyle, on Colours.

  2. To LOVEverb

    Etymology: lufian , Saxon.

    Good shepherd, tell this youth what ’tis to love.
    —— It is to be made all of sighs and tears; It is to be made all of faith and service;
    It is to be all made of fantasy,
    All made of passion, and all made of wishes;
    All adoration, duty, and obedience;
    All humbleness, all patience, all impatience,
    All purity, all trial, all observance. William Shakespeare, As you like it.

    I could not love I’m sure
    One who in love were wise. Abraham Cowley.

    The jealous man wishes himself a kind of deity to the person he loves; he would be the only employment of her thoughts. Joseph Addison, Spectator, №. 170.

    None but his brethren he, and sisters, knew,
    Whom the kind youth prefer’d to me,
    And much above myself I lov’d them too. Abraham Cowley.

    He that loveth me shall be loved of my father, and I will love him, and will manifest myself to him. John xiv. 21.

    Fish used to salt water delight more in fresh: we see that salmons and smelts love to get into rivers, though against the stream. Francis Bacon, Nat. Hist. №. 703.

    Wit, eloquence, and poetry,
    Arts which I lov’d. Abraham Cowley.

    He lov’d my worthless rhimes. Abraham Cowley.

    Love the Lord thy God with all thine heart. Deut. vi. 5.


  1. Love

    Love Walked In is a 1997 Argentine-American neo-noir drama/thriller film co-written and directed by Juan José Campanella and starring Denis Leary, Terence Stamp and Aitana Sánchez-Gijón. It was based on the novel Ni el tiro del final ("Not Even The Final Shot") by Argentine writer José Pablo Feinmann. The film takes its title from George Gershwin's song "Love Walked In".


  1. love

    Love can be defined as an intense feeling of affection, care, and deep attachment towards someone or something. It involves feelings of warmth, tenderness, and compassion, often leading to actions and sacrifices for the well-being and happiness of the loved one. Love can exist in various forms such as romantic love, familial love, platonic love, or even love for oneself or something non-human, and it is often considered a fundamental and powerful force that brings people together and enriches their lives.

  2. Love

    Love is a complex and multifaceted emotion, typically characterized by deep affection, care, and attachment towards someone or something. It involves a strong sense of intimacy, understanding, and compassion, often accompanied by a desire for the happiness and well-being of the loved one. Love can manifest in various forms, including romantic love, familial love, platonic love, or even love for oneself or one's passions. It transcends boundaries and can inspire selflessness, sacrifice, and profound emotional connections.

Webster Dictionary

  1. Lovenoun

    a feeling of strong attachment induced by that which delights or commands admiration; preeminent kindness or devotion to another; affection; tenderness; as, the love of brothers and sisters

  2. Lovenoun

    especially, devoted attachment to, or tender or passionate affection for, one of the opposite sex

  3. Lovenoun

    courtship; -- chiefly in the phrase to make love, i. e., to court, to woo, to solicit union in marriage

  4. Lovenoun

    affection; kind feeling; friendship; strong liking or desire; fondness; good will; -- opposed to hate; often with of and an object

  5. Lovenoun

    due gratitude and reverence to God

  6. Lovenoun

    the object of affection; -- often employed in endearing address

  7. Lovenoun

    cupid, the god of love; sometimes, Venus

  8. Lovenoun

    a thin silk stuff

  9. Lovenoun

    a climbing species of Clematis (C. Vitalba)

  10. Lovenoun

    nothing; no points scored on one side; -- used in counting score at tennis, etc

  11. Lovenoun

    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

  12. Lovenoun

    to regard with passionate and devoted affection, as that of one sex for the other

  13. Lovenoun

    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

  14. Loveverb

    to have the feeling of love; to be in love

  15. Etymology: [OE. love, luve, AS. lufe, lufu; akin to E. lief, believe, L. lubet, libet, it pleases, Skr. lubh to be lustful. See Lief.]


  1. Love

    The English word "love" can refer to a variety of different feelings, states, and attitudes, ranging from pleasure to interpersonal attraction. It can refer to an emotion of a strong affection and personal attachment. It can also be a virtue representing human kindness, compassion, and affection—"the unselfish loyal and benevolent concern for the good of another". And it may describe compassionate and affectionate actions towards other humans, one's self or animals. In terms of interpersonal attraction, four forms of love have traditionally been distinguished, based on ancient Greek precedent: the love of kinship or familiarity, the love of friendship, the love of sexual and/or romantic desire, and self-emptying or divine love. Modern authors have distinguished further varieties of romantic love. Non-Western traditions have also distinguished variants or symbioses of these states. This diversity of uses and meanings, combined with the complexity of the feelings involved, makes love unusually difficult to consistently define, compared to other emotional states. Love in its various forms acts as a major facilitator of interpersonal relationships and, owing to its central psychological importance, is one of the most common themes in the creative arts.

Chambers 20th Century Dictionary

  1. Love

    luv, n. fondness: an affection of the mind caused by that which delights: pre-eminent kindness: benevolence: reverential regard: devoted attachment to one of the opposite sex: the object of affection: the god of love, Cupid: (Shak.) a kindness, a favour done: nothing, in billiards, tennis, and some other games.—v.t. to be fond of: to regard with affection: to delight in with exclusive affection: to regard with benevolence.—v.i. to have the feeling of love.—adj. Lov′able, worthy of love: amiable.—ns. Love′-app′le, the fruit of the tomato; Love′bird, a genus of small birds of the parrot tribe, so called from their attachment to each other; Love′-brok′er (Shak.), a third person who carries messages and makes assignations between lovers; Love′-charm, a philtre; Love′-child, a bastard; Love′-day (Shak.), a day for settling disputes; Love′-fā′vour, something given to be worn in token of love; Love′-feast, a religious feast held periodically by certain sects of Christians in imitation of the love-feasts celebrated by the early Christians in connection with the Lord's-supper; Love′-feat, the gallant act of a lover; Love′-in-ī′dleness, the heart's-ease; Love′-juice, a concoction used to excite love; Love′-knot, an intricate knot, used as a token of love.—adj. Love′less, without love, tenderness, or kindness.—ns. Love′-lett′er, a letter of courtship; Love′-lies-bleed′ing, a species of the plant Amaranthus; Love′liness; Love′lock, a lock of hair hanging at the ear, worn by men of fashion in the reigns of Elizabeth and James I.—adj. Love′lorn, forsaken by one's love.—n. Love′lornness.adj. Love′ly, exciting love or admiration: amiable: pleasing: delightful.—adv. beautifully, delightfully.—ns. Love′-match, a marriage for love, not money; Love′-mong′ėr, one who deals in affairs of love; Love′-pō′tion, a philtre; Lov′er, one who loves, esp. one in love with person of the opposite sex, in the singular almost exclusively of the man: one who is fond of anything: (B.) a friend.—adjs. Lov′ered (Shak.), having a lover; Lov′erly, like a lover.—n. Love′-shaft, a dart of love from Cupid's bow.—adjs. Love′-sick, languishing with amorous desire; Love′some, lovely.—ns. Love′-suit (Shak.), courtship; Love′-tō′ken, a gift in evidence of love.—adj. Lov′ing, having love or kindness: affectionate: fond: expressing love.—ns.

The Roycroft Dictionary

  1. love

    The third rail for Life's Empire State Express. The beginning of all wisdom, all sympathy, all compassion, all art, all religion.

U.S. National Library of Medicine

  1. Love

    Affection; in psychiatry commonly refers to pleasure, particularly as it applies to gratifying experiences between individuals.

The Foolish Dictionary, by Gideon Wurdz

  1. LOVE

    A man's insane desire to become a woman's meal-ticket.

Editors Contribution

  1. love

    An attitude, knowing and feeling of connection, respect, and affection to every human being and animal.

    We naturally show love to every human being and animal on the planet.

    Submitted by MaryC on April 29, 2016  

  2. Love

    Hugs are to let people know you love them Without saying anything.

    Submitted by anonymous on December 7, 2020  

  3. Love

    when you have true feelings for someone

    I love you

    Submitted by anonymous on January 5, 2021  

Suggested Resources

  1. love

    The love symbol -- In this Symbols.com article you will learn about the meaning of the love symbol and its characteristic.

  2. love

    Song lyrics by love -- Explore a large variety of song lyrics performed by love on the Lyrics.com website.

  3. LOVE

    What does LOVE stand for? -- Explore the various meanings for the LOVE acronym on the Abbreviations.com website.

  4. love

    Remember how much fun it was in school to write down names and calculate the percentage of love for each other? This is exactly what this Love Calculator does for you! Don't take it too seriously, though, as love is a serious thing indeed :-)

Surnames Frequency by Census Records

  1. LOVE

    According to the U.S. Census Bureau, Love is ranked #385 in terms of the most common surnames in America.

    The Love surname appeared 82,873 times in the 2010 census and if you were to sample 100,000 people in the United States, approximately 28 would have the surname Love.

    56.4% or 46,815 total occurrences were White.
    37% or 30,688 total occurrences were Black.
    2.9% or 2,403 total occurrences were of two or more races.
    2.5% or 2,097 total occurrences were of Hispanic origin.
    0.5% or 448 total occurrences were Asian.
    0.5% or 423 total occurrences were American Indian or Alaskan Native.

Matched Categories

British National Corpus

  1. Spoken Corpus Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'love' in Spoken Corpus Frequency: #666

  2. Written Corpus Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'love' in Written Corpus Frequency: #644

  3. Nouns Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'love' in Nouns Frequency: #270

  4. Verbs Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'love' in Verbs Frequency: #150

Anagrams for love »

  1. voël

  2. vole

  3. levo

  4. veol

  5. velo

How to pronounce love?

How to say love in sign language?


  1. Chaldean Numerology

    The numerical value of love in Chaldean Numerology is: 3

  2. Pythagorean Numerology

    The numerical value of love in Pythagorean Numerology is: 9

Examples of love in a Sentence

  1. Tom Brady:

    I just love the competition and I love trying to improve and I think thats what it comes down to, every year has its challenges. Its very different from my first year to now, things change obviously with yourself, team, personal situations, professional situations. I love competing, I love playing football. I think loving the game and trying to improve and be the best I can be for the team is great motivation for me and Ive just always spoke about winning and thats what I love to do.

  2. Natalie Allison:

    If you love me then really love me. Don’t pretend, don’t just say it, and don’t leave like everyone before you. Love me, and love me to the end, stand by my side, and hold me when I cry. Love me like it’s the only chance you’ve got, because even though I’m not the best at saying “no” when someone offers love, I’m one bruise away from being broken. So love me like you mean it

  3. Lindsey Vonn:

    That’s why I love what I do, because when you’re in the starting gate it’s you against the mountain and you can push yourself as hard as you want to, i still want to push as hard as I possibly can. That’s what I love. I love the adrenaline. I love the speed. I love the thrill of it. …Just because I’m older doesn’t mean I’ve lost any desire to continue to win and to continue to ski fast.

  4. Julie Taylor:

    Katrina's greatest love was the love for her family, if there is one thing above all that we can learn from Katrina's example, it's how to love, to show love, to use love and by loving to make other people and places better.

  5. Erich Fromm:

    Infantile love follows the principle: “I love because I am loved.” Mature love follows the principle: “I am loved because I love.” Immature love says: “I love you because I need you.” Mature love says: “I need you because I love you.”

Popularity rank by frequency of use


Translations for love

From our Multilingual Translation Dictionary

Get even more translations for love »


Find a translation for the love definition in other languages:

Select another language:

  • - Select -
  • 简体中文 (Chinese - Simplified)
  • 繁體中文 (Chinese - Traditional)
  • Español (Spanish)
  • Esperanto (Esperanto)
  • 日本語 (Japanese)
  • Português (Portuguese)
  • Deutsch (German)
  • العربية (Arabic)
  • Français (French)
  • Русский (Russian)
  • ಕನ್ನಡ (Kannada)
  • 한국어 (Korean)
  • עברית (Hebrew)
  • Gaeilge (Irish)
  • Українська (Ukrainian)
  • اردو (Urdu)
  • Magyar (Hungarian)
  • मानक हिन्दी (Hindi)
  • Indonesia (Indonesian)
  • Italiano (Italian)
  • தமிழ் (Tamil)
  • Türkçe (Turkish)
  • తెలుగు (Telugu)
  • ภาษาไทย (Thai)
  • Tiếng Việt (Vietnamese)
  • Čeština (Czech)
  • Polski (Polish)
  • Bahasa Indonesia (Indonesian)
  • Românește (Romanian)
  • Nederlands (Dutch)
  • Ελληνικά (Greek)
  • Latinum (Latin)
  • Svenska (Swedish)
  • Dansk (Danish)
  • Suomi (Finnish)
  • فارسی (Persian)
  • ייִדיש (Yiddish)
  • հայերեն (Armenian)
  • Norsk (Norwegian)
  • English (English)

Word of the Day

Would you like us to send you a FREE new word definition delivered to your inbox daily?

Please enter your email address:


Use the citation below to add this definition to your bibliography:


"love." Definitions.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2023. Web. 30 Sep. 2023. <https://www.definitions.net/definition/love>.

Discuss these love definitions with the community:


    Are we missing a good definition for love? Don't keep it to yourself...

    Image or illustration of


    Credit »

    Free, no signup required:

    Add to Chrome

    Get instant definitions for any word that hits you anywhere on the web!

    Free, no signup required:

    Add to Firefox

    Get instant definitions for any word that hits you anywhere on the web!

    Browse Definitions.net


    Are you a words master?

    the act of carrying something
    • A. carry
    • B. interrogate
    • C. fudge
    • D. deny

    Nearby & related entries:

    Alternative searches for love: