AskDefine | Define love

Dictionary Definition

love

Noun

1 a strong positive emotion of regard and affection; "his love for his work"; "children need a lot of love" [ant: hate]
2 any object of warm affection or devotion; "the theater was her first love" or "he has a passion for cock fighting"; [syn: passion]
3 a beloved person; used as terms of endearment [syn: beloved, dear, dearest, loved one, honey]
4 a deep feeling of sexual desire and attraction; "their love left them indifferent to their surroundings"; "she was his first love"
5 a score of zero in tennis or squash; "it was 40 love"
6 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" [syn: sexual love, lovemaking, making love, love life]

Verb

1 have a great affection or liking for; "I love French food"; "She loves her boss and works hard for him" [ant: hate]
2 get pleasure from; "I love cooking" [syn: enjoy]
3 be enamored or in love with; "She loves her husband deeply"
4 have sexual intercourse with; "This student sleeps with everyone in her dorm"; "Adam knew Eve"; "Were you ever intimate with this man?" [syn: roll in the hay, 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, bonk]

User Contributed Dictionary

English

Etymology

lufu (noun), lufian (verb), from , from .
As a zero score in tennis, “love” derives from œuf.

Pronunciation

  • /lʌv/, /lVv/
  • Rhymes: -ʌv

Noun

  1. An intense feeling of affection and care towards another person.
    A mother’s love is not easily shaken.
  2. A deep or abiding liking for something.
    My love of cricket knows no bounds.
  3. A profound and caring attraction towards someone.
    Your love is the most important thing in my life.
  4. A condition in which the happiness of another is essential to one's own happiness. (Paraphrased from a definition offered by Robert A. Heinlein, in Stranger in a Strange Land, 1961)
  5. The object of one’s romantic feelings; a darling or sweetheart
    I met my love by the gasworks wall.
  6. A term of address, regardless of feelings.
    Hello, love, how can I help you?
  7. In the context of "racquet sports": zero, no score.
    So that’s fifteen-love to Kournikova.

Translations

strong affection
romantic feelings
darling or sweetheart
zero
  • Albanian: zero
  • Danish: nul
  • Dutch: nul
  • Esperanto: nulo
  • Finnish: nolla
  • German: null
  • Hebrew:
  • Portuguese: zero
  • Russian: ноль (nol’)
  • Spanish: cero, nada
  • Swedish: noll
  • Vietnamese: không
  • West Frisian: nul

Verb

  1. To have a strong affection for.
  2. To need, thrive on.
    Mold loves moist, dark places.
  3. transitive colloquial To be strongly inclined towards something; an emphatic form of like.
    I love walking barefoot on wet grass.
    I'd love to join the team.
  4. To care deeply about.
    "You shall love the Lord your God with your whole heart, and your whole mind, and your whole soul; you shall love your neighbor as yourself."
  5. To lust for.
  6. transitive euphemistic To have sex with, (perhaps from make love.)
    I wish I could love her all night long.

Antonyms

Translations

have a strong affection for
To need, thrive on
be strongly inclined towards doing
(euphemistic): to have sex with
care about; will good for

Anagrams

Danish

Etymology

lofa

Verb

  1. To praise.
  2. To promise.

Extensive Definition

Love represents a range of human emotions and experiences related to the senses of affection and sexual attraction. The word love can refer to a variety of different feelings, states, and attitudes, ranging from generic pleasure to intense interpersonal attraction. This diversity of meanings, combined with the complexity of the feelings involved, makes love unusually difficult to consistently define, even compared to other emotional states.
As an abstract concept love usually refers to a strong, ineffable feeling towards another person. Even this limited conception of love, however, encompasses a wealth of different feelings, from the passionate desire and intimacy of romantic love to the nonsexual. 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.

Definitions

The English word love can have a variety of related but distinct meanings in different contexts. Often, other languages use multiple words to express some of the different concepts which English relies mainly on love to encapsulate; one example is the plurality of Greek words for "love". Cultural differences in conceptualizing love thus make it doubly difficult to establish any universal definition. American psychologist Zick Rubin try to define love by the psychometrics. His work states that three factors consititute love: attachment, caring and intimacy.
Although the nature or essence of love is a subject of frequent debate, different aspects of the word can be clarified by determining what isn't "love". As a general expression of positive sentiment (a stronger form of like), love is commonly contrasted with hate (or neutral apathy); as a less sexual and more emotionally intimate form of romantic attachment, love is commonly contrasted with lust; and as an interpersonal relationship with romantic overtones, love is commonly contrasted with friendship, though other definitions of the word love may be applied to close friendships in certain contexts. When discussed in the abstract, love usually refers to interpersonal love, an experience felt by a person for another person. Love often involves caring for or identifying with a person or thing, including oneself (cf. narcissism).
John Major has his own idiosyncratic definition of love. According to this version, the best sort of relationship involves both pints (of beer) and sex; a suboptimal relationship has only beer or sex; but love is what is left in the relationship once beer and sex are removed.
In addition to crosscultural differences in understanding love, ideas about love have also changed greatly over time. Some historians date modern conceptions of romantic love to courtly Europe during or after the Middle Ages, though the prior existence of romantic attachments is attested by ancient love poetry. Because of the complex and abstract nature of love, discourse on love is commonly reduced to a thought-terminating cliché, and there are a number of common proverbs regarding love, from Virgil's "Love conquers all" to The Beatles' "All you need is love". Bertrand Russell describes love as a condition of "absolute value", as opposed to relative value. Theologian Thomas Jay Oord said that to love is to "act intentionally, in sympathetic response to others, to promote overall well-being".
In the Holy Bible1 Corinthians 13 Love is defined as:
1If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. 2If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. 3If I give all I possess to the poor and surrender my body to the flames, but have not love, I gain nothing. 4Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. 8Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away. 9For we know in part and we prophesy in part, 10but when perfection comes, the imperfect disappears. 11When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put childish ways behind me. 12Now we see but a poor reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known. 13And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love. A person can be said to love a country, principle, or goal if they value it greatly and are deeply committed to it. Similarly, compassionate outreach and volunteer workers' "love" of their cause may sometimes be borne not of interpersonal love, but impersonal love coupled with altruism and strong political convictions. People can also "love" material objects, animals, or activities if they invest themselves in bonding or otherwise identifying with that item. If sexual passion is also involved, this condition is called paraphilia.

Interpersonal love

Interpersonal love refers to love between human beings. It is a more potent sentiment than a simple liking for another. Unrequited love refers to those feelings of love which are not reciprocated. Interpersonal love is most closely associated with interpersonal relationships. Such love might exist between family members, friends, and couples. There are also a number of psychological disorders related to love, such as erotomania.

Scientific views

Throughout history, philosophy and religion have done the most speculation on the phenomenon of love. In the last century, the science of psychology has written a great deal on the subject. In recent years, the sciences of evolutionary psychology, evolutionary biology, anthropology, neuroscience, and biology have added to the understanding of the nature and function of love.

Chemistry

Biological models of sex tend to view love as a mammalian drive, much like hunger or thirst. Helen Fisher, a leading expert in the topic of love, divides the experience of love into three partly-overlapping stages: lust, attraction, and attachment. Lust exposes people to others, romantic attraction encourages people to focus their energy on mating, and attachment involves tolerating the spouse long enough to rear a child into infancy.
Lust is the initial passionate sexual desire that promotes mating, and involves the increased release of chemicals such as testosterone and estrogen. These effects rarely last more than a few weeks or months. Attraction is the more individualized and romantic desire for a specific candidate for mating, which develops out of lust as commitment to an individual mate forms. Recent studies in neuroscience have indicated that as people fall in love, the brain consistently releases a certain set of chemicals, including pheromones, dopamine, norepinephrine, and serotonin, which act similar to amphetamines, stimulating the brain's pleasure center and leading to side-effects such as an increased heart rate, loss of appetite and sleep, and an intense feeling of excitement. Research has indicated that this stage generally lasts from one and a half to three years.
Since the lust and attraction stages are both considered temporary, a third stage is needed to account for long-term relationships. Attachment is the bonding which promotes relationships that last for many years, and even decades. Attachment is generally based on commitments such as marriage and children, or on mutual friendship based on things like shared interests. It has been linked to higher levels of the chemicals oxytocin and vasopressin than short-term relationships have.

Psychology

further Human bonding
Psychology depicts love as a cognitive and social phenomenon. Psychologist Robert Sternberg formulated a triangular theory of love and argued that love has three different components: intimacy, commitment, and passion. Intimacy is a form in which two people share confidences and various details of their personal lives. Intimacy is usually shown in friendships and romantic love affairs. Commitment, on the other hand, is the expectation that the relationship is permanent. The last and most common form of love is sexual attraction and passion. Passionate love is shown in infatuation as well as romantic love. All forms of love are viewed as varying combinations of these three components.
Following developments in electrical theories, such as Coulomb's law, which showed that positive and negative charges attract, analogs in human life were developed, such as "opposites attract". Over the last century, research on the nature of human mating has generally found this not to be true when it comes to character and personality; people tend to like people similar to themselves. However, in a few unusual and specific domains, such as immune systems, it seems that humans prefer others who are unlike themselves (e.g. with an orthogonal immune system), since this will lead to a baby which has the best of both worlds. In recent years, various human bonding theories have been developed described in terms of attachments, ties, bonds, and affinities.
Some Western authorities disaggregate into two main components, the altruistic and the narcissistic. This view is represented in the works of Scott Peck, whose works in the field of applied psychology explored the definitions of love and evil. Peck maintains that love is a combination of the "concern for the spiritual growth of another", and simple narcissism. In combination, love is an activity, not simply a feeling.

Scientific models

Biological models of love tend to see it as a mammalian drive, similar to hunger or thirst. Psychology sees love as more of a social and cultural phenomenon. There are probably elements of truth in both views — certainly love is influenced by hormones (such as oxytocin), neurotrophins (such as NGF), and pheromones, and how people think and behave in love is influenced by their conceptions of love. The conventional view in biology is that there are two major drives in love — sexual attraction and attachment. Attachment between adults is presumed to work on the same principles that lead an infant to become attached to its mother. The traditional psychological view sees love as being a combination of companionate love and passionate love. Passionate love is intense longing, and is often accompanied by physiological arousal (shortness of breath, rapid heart rate). Companionate love is affection and a feeling of intimacy not accompanied by physiological arousal.
Studies have shown that brain scans of those infatuated by love display a resemblance to those with a mental illness. Love creates activity in the same area of the brain that hunger, thirst, and drug cravings create activity in. New love, therefore, could possibly be more physical than emotional. Over time, this reaction to love mellows, and different areas of the brain are activated, primarily ones involving long-term commitments. Dr. Andrew Newberg, a neuroscientist, suggests that this reaction to love is so similar to that of drugs because without love, humanity would die out.

References

Sources

  • Henry Chadwick and Edzrin. "Saint Augustine Confessions". Oxford University Press, 1998.
  • Helen Fisher. Why We Love: the Nature and Chemistry of Romantic Love
  • Irving Singer, The Nature of Love, in three volumes, Random House (v.1, 1966), reprinted and later volumes from The University of Chicago Press, 1984. ISBN 0226760944
  • R. J. Sternberg. A triangular theory of love. 1986. Psychological Review, 93, 119–135
  • R. J. Sternberg. Liking versus loving: A comparative evaluation of theories. 1987. Psychological Bulletin, 102, 331–345
  • Dorothy Tennov. Love and Limerence: the Experience of Being in Love. New York: Stein and Day, 1979. ISBN 0812861345
  • Wood, Wood and Boyd. The World of Psychology. 5th edition. 2005. Pearson Education, 402–403
love in Arabic: غرام (حب)
love in Azerbaijani: Məhəbbət‎
love in Bosnian: Ljubav
love in Bulgarian: Любов
love in Catalan: Amor
love in Chuvash: Юрату
love in Czech: Láska
love in Danish: Kærlighed
love in German: Liebe
love in Estonian: Armastus
love in Modern Greek (1453-): Αγάπη
love in Spanish: Amor
love in Esperanto: Amo
love in Persian: عشق
love in French: Amour
love in Scottish Gaelic: Gràdh
love in Galician: Amor
love in Korean: 사랑
love in Croatian: Ljubav
love in Indonesian: Cinta
love in Interlingua (International Auxiliary Language Association): Amor
love in Inuktitut: ᑕᑯᑦᓱᒍᓱᑉᐳᖅ/takutsugusuppuq
love in Icelandic: Ást
love in Italian: Amore
love in Hebrew: אהבה
love in Latin: Amor
love in Lithuanian: Meilė
love in Limburgan: Leefde
love in Hungarian: Szerelem
love in Macedonian: Љубов
love in Min Dong Chinese: Ái
love in Dutch: Liefde
love in Japanese: 愛
love in Norwegian: Kjærlighet
love in Polish: Miłość
love in Portuguese: Amor
love in Romanian: Dragoste
love in Quechua: Khuyay
love in Russian: Любовь
love in Albanian: Dashuria
love in Sicilian: Amuri
love in Simple English: Love
love in Slovak: Láska
love in Slovenian: Ljubezen
love in Serbian: Љубав
love in Serbo-Croatian: Ljubav
love in Finnish: Rakkaus
love in Swedish: Kärlek
love in Tagalog: Pag-ibig
love in Tamil: காதல
love in Thai: ความรัก
love in Vietnamese: Tình yêu
love in Turkish: Aşk
love in Ukrainian: Любов
love in Yiddish: ליבע
love in Contenese: 愛
love in Samogitian: Meilė
love in Chinese: 愛

Synonyms, Antonyms and Related Words

Amor, Aphrodite, Astarte, BOMFOG, Benthamism, Christian charity, Christian love, Cupid, Eros, Freya, Kama, Love, Venus, accord, accordance, admiration, admire, adoration, adore, adulate, adulation, affair, affection, affinity, agape, agreement, aim at, allegiance, altruism, amiability, amiableness, amicability, amicableness, amity, amor, amorousness, amour, angel, appreciate, ardency, ardor, attachment, attraction, babe, baby, baby-doll, bang, bask in, be all heart, be desirous of, be fond of, be partial to, be pleased with, beau, beloved, beloved object, beneficence, benevolence, benevolent disposition, benevolentness, bent, best love, best regards, best wishes, betrothed, bigheartedness, bonds of harmony, bonk, boyfriend, brotherhood, brotherly love, burn with love, buttercup, cardinal virtues, care, care for, caress, caritas, carnality, cement of friendship, charitableness, charity, cherish, cherub, chick, chickabiddy, choose, coldness, communion, community, community of interests, compatibility, compliments, concern, concord, concordance, congeniality, correspondence, cosset, crush, cuddle, dandle, darling, dear, dear one, dearly beloved, deary, deify, delight, delight in, derive pleasure from, desiderate, desire, devoirs, devotion, devour, disposition, do-goodism, doll, dote, dote on, dote upon, duck, duckling, eat up, egards, embrace, emotion, empathy, enjoy, enjoyment, enthusiasm, esprit, esprit de corps, exalt, faith, fancy, favor, fealty, feast on, feeling of identity, fellow feeling, fellowship, fervor, fiance, fiancee, fidelity, flesh, fleshliness, flower power, fondle, fondness, fortitude, freak out on, frictionlessness, friendliness, friendship, frigidity, fuck, generosity, get high on, girl, giving, gloat over, go for, good vibes, good vibrations, good wishes, goodwill, grace, greatheartedness, greetings, groove on, gust, gusto, guy, happy family, harmony, hate, have deep feelings, have designs on, have eyes for, have it bad, have sex, hold dear, hon, honey, honey bunch, honey child, hope, humanitarianism, hump, identity, idolatry, idolize, impotence, inamorata, inamorato, inclination, indulge in, infatuation, intended, intrigue, justice, kind regards, kindest regards, kindness, kinship, know, lamb, lambkin, largeheartedness, leaning, liaison, libido, light of love, like, like-mindedness, likes, liking, love affair, love of mankind, loved one, lovemaking, lover, loyalty, lust, lust after, luxuriate in, make out, man, mania, marriage, mate, mutuality, natural virtues, neck, neighborlikeness, neighborliness, oneness, partiality, passion, peace, peaceableness, pet, petkins, philanthropism, philanthropy, piety, pleasure, potency, precious, precious heart, predilection, prefer, preference, prize, proclivity, prudence, rapport, rapprochement, rapture, reciprocity, regard, regards, rejoice in, relationship, relish, remembrances, respects, revel in, revere, riot in, romance, savor, screw, sensuality, sentiment, sex drive, sexiness, sexual instinct, sexual urge, sexualism, sexuality, sharing, sisterhood, smack the lips, snookums, sociability, solicitude, solidarity, sugar, suitor, supernatural virtues, swain, sweet, sweetheart, sweetie, sweetkins, sweets, swim in, sympathy, symphony, take, take pleasure in, take to, tally, taste, team spirit, temperance, tenderness, theological virtues, thing, treasure, truelove, turtledove, understanding, unhostility, union, unison, unity, utilitarianism, value, venerate, voluptuousness, wallow in, want, warmth, weakness, welfarism, well-affectedness, well-beloved, well-disposedness, wish, wish to goodness, wish very much, woman, worship, would fain do, yearning, young man, zeal
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