The Best Words to Describe “Love”

the best words for love
Love has been described as “A Many Splendored Thing” in poems (William Waterway), in films (1955), and in Academy Award winning songs (lyrics Paul Francis Webster). The same descriptive phrase has been used for a TV soap opera.

“A Many Splendored Thing” originated in a poem by late 19th century poet, Francis Thompson. He was English, so he probably included a “u” in “splendoured” when he coined the phrase in The Hound of Heaven as he spent 182 lines investigating Christianity and God’s search for a missing soul. This would, of course, be 182 lines of words describing the concept of divine love. However, the phrase that has outlived him isn’t really a conclusive description. It’s rather a cop-out.

In the 1970 movie “Love Story” Erich Segal used the phrase “Love means never having to say you’re sorry,” and at about the same time in our history of kitschy-coo, notebooks and stickers flooded the market featuring drawn outlines of a girl and boy, and sugar sweet “Love Is” statements.

The Search for the Best Words for Love

People have been looking for the best words to describe love for years, centuries, and perhaps for millennia. Perhaps they have been searching since the days when cavemen began grabbing cavewomen by the hair before dragging them into the cave as a mark of affection. It would have made sense for them to start considering something other than grunts to describe those feelings they were experiencing. Dragging someone by the hair could be hard work, and grunts could be misunderstood. A cliche or two could save a lot of effort.

Fairy tales, poets, Hollywood movies and Internet sites followed centuries later, finding thousands, if not tens of thousands of ways to continue the quest for the best words to describe love. The very fact they kept coming up with new ones indicates it’s not easy – and the best, and most conclusive, description has not yet been found.

What Is Love?

Anyone who can come up with a definitive answer will have discovered something important. It might have more impact than any other scientific discoveries which have earned experts Nobel Prizes over the years. This could happen because it would influence people’s everyday lives and relationships in a way that could change the world. At least then people might have a real reference point when trying to explain love.

As the situation stands now, there are no words, best or otherwise, that will describe love in a way that will satisfy everyone. There isn’t a phrase that will give everyone a lightbulb moment and a reason to respond, “That’s it! Now I know what love is. Now I can love, be loved and, maybe, be in love.”

Parts of Many Speeches

It’s no wonder it’s so difficult. The word “love” forms parts of many types of speech. It can be a noun (or naming word) for a series of sensations, feelings and emotions. It is also a verb or “doing or action word” when it comes to experiencing it. In addition, love also functions as a noun modifier in “love affair,” an adjective in “loving relationship” and an adverb in “He looked at her lovingly.”

Further complicating the idea of describing love in words is the fact that there are so many different types of love. As if it isn’t already impossible to describe the love experience in words, we are expected to find more words, more adjectives, adverbs and other nouns, to attach to that indescribable concept. This will break it down into categories that are more specific, but probably even harder to describe.

Adding to the Confusion

As a result, the following words, and more, are tossed in: unconditional and conditional, free, passionate, romantic, selfless and self, playful, divine, maternal and paternal, brotherly and sisterly, eternal and endless. It’s supposed to help if we add these to the word we find hardest to apply, and almost impossible to describe. It’s meant to make the unmeasurable more manageable by separating it into smaller categories.

The effect it has, however, is to set up a lot more puzzles and challenges. Now we have not only one concept to describe, and to understand, but several. Perhaps once we have come up with the best words to describe unconditional, or even maternal love, we can return to describing romantic love. Then we can hopefully, get closer to understanding the wonderful, scary, passionate and all-consuming experience that is love. It is, indeed, a “many splendored thing” but it’s also sometimes a many pitfalled thing. It can make you the happiest person around, particularly if you experience it as a verb of doing and experiencing. It can also break your heart if you keep falling in and out of the love noun.

Words that Describe Love

For those who are simply looking for a list of words that describe love, or make reference to it, here are some of the most popular:

  • adorable
  • affection
  • amour
  • angel
  • bliss
  • caring
  • chocolate
  • companion
  • compassion
  • concern
  • darling
  • dear
  • desire
  • devotion
  • endearment
  • family
  • fondness
  • forever
  • friendship
  • fun
  • God
  • happiness
  • happy
  • heart
  • hugs
  • husband
  • infatuation
  • inspiration
  • intimacy
  • joy
  • kiss
  • kisses
  • loyalty
  • marriage
  • passion
  • relationship
  • romance
  • sex
  • sweet
  • sweetheart
  • tenderness
  • trust
  • warmth
  • wife
  • First thou must feel the love for oneself, before thou is able to love another.
    Flower boosts, I treat myself.
    I find sharing love, for companionship is hopeless, in this romantic being

  • My personal profound statement, sharing with all now. Written April 1985,
    ‘to touch the soul of another as you have mine, what a gift we’d all have to share’
    For a custom card, by hand, let me know a little bit of you and your other.

    • Our 20 year anniversary is coming in an month and I want to make it special as I can. We met 20 years ago a day after my 21st birthday, had a dance on the 13th of April and had first date on May 6th. And we’ve been together every since.

      • Hello Alita, how are you I’m Anderson Lucas from Seattle Washington, I have been thinking so much about you, I have always wanted to be the love of your life, I have wish we could be together for our life time, I must say I really do love you so much πŸ’“πŸ’“πŸ’“πŸ’‹πŸ’‹πŸ’‹πŸ’‹πŸ’‹πŸ’‹πŸ’žπŸ’žπŸ’žπŸ‘¨β€β€οΈβ€πŸ’‹β€πŸ‘¨πŸ‘¨β€β€οΈβ€πŸ’‹β€πŸ‘¨πŸ‘¨β€β€οΈβ€πŸ’‹β€πŸ‘¨πŸ‘¨β€β€οΈβ€πŸ’‹β€πŸ‘¨πŸ‘¨β€β€οΈβ€πŸ’‹β€πŸ‘¨πŸ’‹πŸ’‹πŸ’‹πŸ’‹πŸ’“πŸ’“

      • Hi Alita. I was hoping that you might be able to offer me some ideas and/or a poem. I would like to give my ex-husband a card with a note letting him know how much he is appreciated. We have 2 young boys together. He is a wonderful loving and compassionate father and while we are no longer together we are still great friends. He is going through a bit of a low point and I would like to remind him that he is doing a wonderful job. He is an artist and naturally a very creative and passionate individual. Thank you in advance for any suggestions that you may have to share.

    • Pain comes with love, no choice. If you love, you will also suffer. Love is being connected, when we have a loss we suffer. But that suffering comes from love, it is a sweet suffering.

  • The word LOVE has too much of grace in it self only.Love defines our peace our happiness our actions.The warm feeling which helps you to feel something different is Love ,well something different denotes to your happiness.The day you are in love you fell like everything is changed around you ,but the Secret all above is; A single person can also b in love,can also feel love.By just changing their converting their negativity to positivity in all of his/her sections.Because as i said the secret all above is “our Mind” which helps us in our every operation.even if they are good or bad.So enough motivate yourself.Be confident about your feelings.i bet uh will see the change and you will fall in love.

  • I use to think love was gross, (mostly because of the kissing,) but now I think its just a reason to break someones heart, because I had a break up with my boy friends, only because he found someone better to date then me… πŸ™

    • Ps I ment to say “break up with my boyfriend” not “boy friends” My bad!
      Its a habit i’ve developed to place an “s” at the end of friend!

      • It’s not a problem We understand..
        Life is even more after a love
        All the best for your future 🀍
        Keep smiling πŸ˜‡

    • I get why you think it’s gross, I did too once. Although through the years I found out that love doesn’t entirely mean “kissing”. For others, they would say that it is. Probably because that’s how they show THEIR love and affection to someone, but love is not just all about that. The correct term in that sense would be “love language”, how one shows their love, though it is not the entirety of love. Love really does go many ways. Love for a family member, a friend, your significant other, a companion, it goes on and on. Love isn’t all about romantic relationships, and if you don’t have one, that’s totally okay.

      This ex of yours, If he left you because he found someone better, that’s not love at all. He’s only in love with the idea of “being in a relationship” with someone who fits his standards or ideals. Someone who pleases and satisfies him because that person is “ideal” for him. Honestly, there’s nothing wrong with finding other people pretty or handsome, but what he did… leaving you because of that attraction and because he values those ideals of his more? That’s just really sad and far from love. Aside from that, I’m disappointed and sad at that guy for doing that to you and your heart. I’m sure you’re someone with a beautiful heart and soul. I hope you heal from what he did and never give up on love. There’s people all around who love and care about you. It probably may not be romantic love, but for sure there will be those people who will stay with you as you heal and help you grow.

      Either way, I believe that’s what love is all about. It’s all about understanding, acceptance and helping each other grow to become better and good people. Love isn’t all sunshines and rainbows. There will always be challenges and painful times. But what matters is that even if people do get hurt and hurt other people in the process, they’d find their way back into love, forgiveness, understanding, acceptance and of course, goodness and growth.

  • Love is how you are sacrificing your self for wife, brothers, sisters, children, in relations, friends, at working place, serving to country, and ultimately to GOD for long happiness & peace. It should be selfless without seeking anything for yourself.

  • To me it is a feeling that I get when I walk down the road hand in hand with my friend or lover the feeling I get when do you lay down next to each other the feeling of a hug that to me is love

  • It is ingrained in our DNA to search out the emotional feel of affection, or LOVE… There are examples in archeological digs as far back as 30,000+ years ago… The one story that not only shows there was love back in da day, but also it was not uncommon or uncomfortable… I’m fuzzy on the details but what I remember of this love story was this… A body was found at a dig, he was placed carefully in a small but deep plot in stony soil, so hard was the soil where his body was found, that with modern tools they used as excavators of the grave constantly choke down or needed new sharps because the soil was unforgiving… So, a β€œβ€ primitive group using wood tool and possibly stone, digs a grave in a plot of land that modern tool of power and endurance suffered under the lands might!!!

    Anywho, once they removed him from his simple grave they found objectS that abled them to give an educated guess as to his station in that β€œ group” He was very poor and only had a few objects that were so degraded they amounted to nothing in value… Once they got him back to the shop, under examination they found that he had an abscess on the right side of the lower jaw bone, it’s growth was from cleft in chin to just below molars and most of its high… It was a very old injury compared to his age, which was guessed to B around 14-16… The group that was studying himvrealized that with such aninjury to the jaw would have render him unable to do just about anything, socializing working, they say the pain would have been so horrible that he probably moaned and cried oit often… Here comes the β€œlove” part… Him being probably unable to eat what was caught or picked, as you probably know, the picking part is mainly seasonal, so meats and hardened Vegs and roots would be the course of each day… Being unable to do probably next to nothing because of malnutrition pain depression disorganization etc etc… He would have been a deficit to the group and if there was not love in that group he would have been pitched aside with the trash… He wasn’t, because, until his death, most likely due to his injury, he was a kept man… Someone (s) took care of him, fed him, and this is the kicker, it’s assumed that because he couldn’t chew well, if at all, I mean the abscess was so bad that it cut through his jaw losing most of the teeth on that side, it ate so much of the bone that it was evidence of breaking and was not reset…m

    Someone With love in their hearts chewed food for him and feed him the mush, which he could just shallow, they took care of him and the group didn’t mind, they didn’t leave him behind or outright kill him for being an issue that surely cost the group..

    Love, it’s Perplexing primordial wonder set in every cell in our bodies ready to go into action, you can see it in all forms of life, be that love shown in co-operations couples joining for life aslike the polar bear, the red ant, seals, penguins humans etc and so on!!! love has a plethora of faces smells and shapes the feel of it toppled Countries, cost lives and spread man across all four corners of this world!!

    What puzzles me is this, it’s our need for being able to function in daily life, love, every single person on this earth wants for love in some form… If that be so, and I’m sure it is, if all our actions and thought drive us in search of love… Then why is there so much hate?




    • The short answer is the sinful nature of fallen man. I heard of an interesting historical story about love also…The Cross.

    • The faith it takes to believe in no God and that man started in an imaginary pool of mysterious self made chemicals that eventually evolved into different blood cells, nerves, hair,skin, bones, brains, nervous systems, liver, lungs, pancreas, reproduction organs male and female, optical and hearing, etc is foolishness. What chemicals can think or reason? Can 2 chemicals mixed together feel hate, love or jealously? YOU were wonderfully and purposefully made (mind, body and spirit)!!! God is love…. What chemical can forgive? God loves you!!! God LOVES YOU!!! God is not dead He is surly alive!!! Romans 6:23

    • Good question, indeed… The answer is fear, and jealousy… fear of rejection or unfaithfulness,
      jealous of what others have or what you think they might have to give, that you dont. Above all lack of communication or miscommunication as in some don’t express there feelings well enough or they decide they have expressed it enough and it’s done they don’t continue to feed there love to another, and simple miscommunication happens all the time and is usually innocent and perhaps just a sign that perhaps that’s not the person your intended to love, cuz when you find that person you will not question if it’s right, however you will know and often times it doesn’t happen right away and you may love and lose many times until the time is right for you to know and perhaps it’s someone new who just entered in your life or it may be someone you knew for most your life but each of you had other people or obstacles in the way of you getting to know but when it is meant to be and when the time for you is right there will be no question as your heart your mind your body and most of all your soul will at this very moment all agree and that is when you’ll know. Perhaps there is no word for it, to describe it I think it just is something that you’ll know it when you feel it. Than you’ll understand why the others before didn’t stay and it won’t matter how long it took, or any pain you felt before it because everything before it led you to this place and helps you to feel this way. all that matters from than on is your future with that person and spending as much time as you can together and soaking every word they speak up inside you and even there breath will memorize you and what’s even better is for them you will do the same … That is how and when you know you’ve found the one not only that you and he want to be with but you’ve found the one that God intended for you to be with… And that is Love that can’t be described but it does exist, and when it happens there is no greater feeling… on all this earth .

      • Hi Christine. We have been sharing exactly, nearly word for word, our definition of what love is! I just thought I’d let you know. I appreciate you putting it “out there” so that way everyone can hear it.
        Carrie Mars age 44
        Winlock, WA

  • I feel like everyone has a different definiton of “love” based on the different experiances they have from it.

    • John 3:16 For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have everlasting life.

  • Love to me is amazing it makes you believe that you can change everything itpnto a world full of joy and happiness.πŸ€—πŸ€—πŸ€—

  • Love can always make u special, Its the best addition……and being loved will bring a bloom in your heart…..which lead to a ‘forever spring’ to your life!

  • Love is an action verb and without action love cannot exist. It covers the full spectrum of emotion from joy to pain and must be given and received without limitation.

  • All I know is I’m going through a test and cant figure it out my boyfriend has given me this to test us and he says it’s something we both need and we all have used these words before everyone has but I cant figure it out so if someone can help me it’s appreciated I’m gonna include a riddle he came up for me to I love you and hate you but let me explain I love what I know but hate what I dont you should feel the same the oblivous is oblivous but your obliviously oblivious wait and you’ll see you know when you know but heres you a clue seek the syllables 6 and 3

  • Love is going out in the middle of the night looking for your daughter who is an addict. Love is feeling immobile under your childhood quilt because if your husband’s infidelity. Love is crying and laughing at the same time because your granddaughter just made her arrival into this crazy world. And love is putting on the bravest act as if you were in battle holding your mother who is dying fro cancer and she wants to hear you singing a lullaby to her.

  • Loving someone without conditions. expectations, or quid pro quo is not enough to truly understand Love. (noun)
    One word describing Love (verb): Heartless.
    Example: And you can have
    This heart to break.

  • I see the complex idea of love as a result of how we throw the word around, in our language, without much depth . The same thing with the word β€œfriend”. I love my daughter and that kind of love can’t match that of a romantic love and not everyone is your friend! I learned the former the hard way.

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