Meaning of “darling” in the English Dictionary

"darling" in British English

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darlingnoun [ C ]

uk /ˈdɑː.lɪŋ/ us /ˈdɑːr-/

B2 a person who is very much loved or liked:

Oh darling, I love you.
Here's your change, darling.
In spite of his unpopularity in the USSR, Gorbachev remained a/the darling of (= very popular with) the West right to the end.
Note: This is used as a name between people who love each other and people who are being friendly. As a friendly way of talking to someone it is not usually used between men.

More examples

  • Sorry darling, something unexpected has come up at the office, and I'll be home late.
  • "How wonderful to see you again, darling, " she cooed.
  • Darling, Mummy's told you before, there's no such thing as ghosts!
  • "Mummy, I hurt my knee." "Come here, darling, and let me kiss it better."
  • My darling!

darlingadjective [ before noun ]

uk /ˈdɑː.lɪŋ/ us /ˈdɑːr-/

old-fashioned used when talking to someone you love, for example in a letter, to say that you love them very much:

Darling Martha, It was great to see you at the weekend.

very attractive:

They've just bought a darling little apartment.

(Definition of “darling” from the Cambridge Advanced Learner’s Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)

"darling" in American English

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darlingnoun [ C ]

us /ˈdɑr·lɪŋ/

used to show affection when speaking to someone:

Hello, darling.

darlingadjective [ not gradable ]

us /ˈdɑr·lɪŋ/

much loved:

Here’s a picture of my darling child.

(Definition of “darling” from the Cambridge Academic Content Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)