Definition of “love” - English Dictionary

“love” in British English

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loveverb [ T ]

uk /lʌv/ us /lʌv/

love verb [ T ] (LIKE SOMEONE)

A1 to like another adult very much and be romantically and sexually attracted to them, or to have strong feelings of liking a friend or person in your family:

I love you.
Last night he told me he loved me.
I've only ever loved one man.
I'm sure he loves his kids.

More examples

  • You may love someone without necessarily wanting to marry them.
  • He said he would always love her .
  • I think Phil has to face the fact that she no longer loves him.
  • She faces the dilemma of disobeying her father or losing the man she loves.
  • When I tried to tell her that I loved her it just came out all wrong.

love verb [ T ] (LIKE SOMETHING)

A1 to like something very much:

She loves animals.
He really loves his job.
[ + -ing verb ] I love skiing.
Love it or hate it, reality TV is here to stay.
would love

A2 used, often in requests, to say that you would very much like something:

I'd love a cup of coffee if you're making one.
[ + to infinitive ] She would dearly love to start her own business.
UK I'd love you to come to dinner next week.
US I'd love for you to come to dinner next week.

More examples

  • We would dearly love to sell our flat and move to the country.
  • The kids love feeding bread to the ducks.
  • I love Fridays because I leave work early.
  • I've never been keen on classical music, but I love jazz.
  • I'd love to go to Australia. I only wish I could afford to.


uk /lʌv/ us /lʌv/

love noun (LIKING SOMEONE)

B1 [ U ] the feeling of liking another adult very much and being romantically and sexually attracted to them, or strong feelings of liking a friend or person in your family:

"I've been seeing him over a year now." "Is it love?"
Children need to be shown lots of love.
"I'm seeing Laura next week." "Oh, please give her my love" (= tell her I am thinking about her with affection).
Maggie asked me to send her love to you and the kids (= tell you that she is thinking about you with affection).
informal How's your love life (= your romantic and/or sexual relationships) these days?

B1 [ C ] a person that you love and feel attracted to:

He was the love of my life.
She was my first love.

[ as form of address ] UK informal used as a friendly form of address:

You look tired, love.
That'll be four pounds exactly, love.

A2 [ U ] informal also love from, all my love used before your name at the end of letters, cards, etc. to friends or family:

See you at Christmas. Love, Kate.
be in love

B1 to love someone in a romantic and sexual way:

I'm in love for the first time and it's wonderful.
They're still madly in love (with each other).
fall in love (with sb)

B1 to start to love someone romantically and sexually:

I was 20 when I first fell in love.

More examples

  • Over the years, her love for him deepened.
  • He wrote her a poem as an expression of his love.
  • I give you this ring as a pledge of my everlasting love for you.
  • Her latest novel is a searing tale of love and hate.
  • She was torn between loyalty to her father and love for her husband .


B2 [ U ] strong liking for:

I don't share my boyfriend's love of cooking.

B2 [ C ] something that you like very much:

Music is one of her greatest loves.

More examples

  • She never hid her love of diamonds.
  • Food is my greatest love.
  • Opera was my first love.
  • I have a love of expensive clothes.
  • His love of gambling drove us apart.

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

“love” in American English

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us /lʌv/

love verb (LIKE SOMEONE)

[ T ] to have a strong affection for someone, which can be combined with a strong romantic attraction:

Susan loved her brother dearly.
"I love you and want to marry you, Emily," he said.

love verb (LIKE SOMETHING)

to like something very much:

[ + to infinitive ] We’d love to own our own home.


us /lʌv/

love noun (LIKING SOMEONE)

fall in love

If you fall in love you begin to love someone:

She’s fallen in love and made plans to marry.

[ U ] You can write love/love from/all my love/lots of love before your name at the end of letters to family and friends.

in love

A person who is in love is experiencing a romantic attraction for another person:

I think he's in love with Anna.

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

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