The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48:
Love \Love\ (l[u^]v), n. [OE. love, luve, AS. lufe, lufu; akin
to E. lief, believe, L. lubet, libet, it pleases, Skr. lubh
to be lustful. See Lief.]
1. A feeling of strong attachment induced by that which
delights or commands admiration; pre["e]minent 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.
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." --Dryden.
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.
8. A thin silk stuff. [Obs.] --Boyle.
9. (Bot.) A climbing species of Clematis (Clematis
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
11. Sexual intercourse; -- a euphemism.
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,
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 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
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.
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 agap[ae] 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 grass. [G. liebesgras.] (Bot.) Any grass of the genus
(a) An herb of the Buttercup family (Nigella Damascena)
having the flowers hidden in a maze of finely cut
(b) The West Indian Passiflora f[oe]tida, which has
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.
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
Love lass, a sweetheart.
Love letter, a letter of courtship. --Shak.
Love-lies-bleeding (Bot.), a species of amaranth
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
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
The god of love, or The Love god, Cupid.
To make love, to engage in sexual intercourse; -- a
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.
[1913 Webster +PJC]
Syn: Affection; friendship; kindness; tenderness; fondness;