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 ©2018 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
The American Heritage Dictionary Blog
Check out our blog, updated regularly, for new words and revised definitions, interesting images from the 5th edition, discussions of usage, and more.