love (n.) Look up love at
Old English lufu "love, affection, friendliness," from Proto-Germanic *lubo (cognates: Old High German liubi "joy," German Liebe "love;" Old Norse, Old Frisian, Dutch lof; German Lob "praise;" Old Saxon liof, Old Frisian liaf, Dutch lief, Old High German liob, German lieb, Gothic liufs "dear, beloved").

The Germanic words are from PIE *leubh- "to care, desire, love" (cognates: Latin lubet, later libet "pleases;" Sanskrit lubhyati "desires;" Old Church Slavonic l'ubu "dear, beloved;" Lithuanian liaupse "song of praise").
"Even now," she thought, "almost no one remembers Esteban and Pepita but myself. Camilla alone remembers her Uncle Pio and her son; this woman, her mother. But soon we shall die and all memory of those five will have left the earth, and we ourselves shall be loved for a while and forgotten. But the love will have been enough; all those impulses of love return the love that made them. Even memory is not necessary for love. There is a land of the living and a land of the dead and the bridge is love, the only survival, the only meaning." [Thornton Wilder, "Bridge of San Luis Rey," 1927]
Meaning "a beloved person" is from early 13c. The sense "no score" (in tennis, etc.) is 1742, from the notion of "playing for love," i.e. "for nothing" (1670s). Phrase for love or money "for anything" is attested from 1580s. Love seat is from 1904. Love-letter is attested from mid-13c.; love-song from early 14c. To fall in love is attested from early 15c. To be in love with (someone) is from c. 1500. To make love is from 1570s in the sense "pay amorous attention to;" as a euphemism for "have sex," it is attested from c. 1950. Love life "one's collective amorous activities" is from 1919, originally a term in psychological jargon. Love affair is from 1590s. The phrase no love lost (between two people) is ambiguous and was used 17c. in reference to two who love each other well (c. 1640) as well as two who have no love for each other (1620s).
love (v.) Look up love at
Old English lufian "to love, cherish, show love to; delight in, approve," from Proto-Germanic *lubojan (cognates: Old High German lubon, German lieben), from root of love (n.). Related: Loved; loving. Adjective Love-hate "ambivalent" is from 1937, originally a term in psychological jargon.
love apple (n.) Look up love apple at
"tomato," 1570s, corresponding to French pomme d'amour, German liebesapfel, but the reason for the term remains obscure. One guess is that it is a corruption of Italian pomo de'Mori or Spanish pome dei Moro, literally "Moorish apple."
love bird (n.) Look up love bird at
1590s, small species of West African parrot, noted for the remarkable attention mating pairs pay to one another; figurative sense of "a lover" is attested from 1911.
Hold hands, you lovebirds. [Emil Sitka]
love child (n.) Look up love child at
"child born out of wedlock," 1805, from love (n.) + child. Earlier was love brat (17c.).
loveless (adj.) Look up loveless at
early 14c., "feeling no love;" late 14c. "unloved," from from love (n.) + -less. Attested from mid-13c. as a surname. Related: Lovelessly; lovelessness.
lovelily (adv.) Look up lovelily at
early 14c., from lovely + -ly (2).
loveliness (n.) Look up loveliness at
mid-14c., "lovableness," from lovely + -ness.
lovelonging (n.) Look up lovelonging at
c. 1300, luue langing, from love (n.) + infinitive of long (v.).
lovelorn (adj.) Look up lovelorn at
also love-lorn, "pining for love," 1630s, from love (n.) + lorn. Perhaps coined by Milton.
lovely (adj.) Look up lovely at
Old English luflic "affectionate, loveable;" see love (n.) + -ly (1). The modern sense of "lovable on account of beauty, attractive" is from c. 1300, "applied indiscriminately to all pleasing material objects, from a piece of plum-cake to a Gothic cathedral" [George P. Marsh, "The Origin and History of the English Language," 1862].
lovemaking (n.) Look up lovemaking at
"courtship," mid-15c., from love (n.) + make. Phrase make love is attested from 1570s in the sense "pay amorous attention to;" as a euphemism for "have sex," it is attested from c. 1950.
lover (n.) Look up lover at
early 13c., agent noun from love (v.). Old English had lufend for male lovers, lufestre for women. Meaning "one who has a predilection for" (a thing, concept, pursuit, etc.) is mid-14c. As a form of address to a lover, from 1911. Related: Loverly.
lovesick (adj.) Look up lovesick at
also love-sick, 1520s, from love (n.) + sick (adj.).
lovesome (adj.) Look up lovesome at
Old English lufsum "worthy of love," from love (v.) + -some (1). Early 13c. as "lovely," 1720 as "amorous." An old word that might be useful in its original sense. Related: Lovesomely; lovesomeness.
lovestruck (adj.) Look up lovestruck at
also love-struck, by 1762, from love (n.) + struck (see strike (v.)). Love stricken is attested from 1805.
lovey Look up lovey at
affectionate pet name, 1731, from love (n.) + -y (3). Extended form lovey-dovey attested from 1819 (n.), 1847 (adj.).
loving (adj.) Look up loving at
Old English lufenda (see love (v.)). Loving cup is attested from 1808. Lovingkindness was Coverdale's word.
lovingly (adv.) Look up lovingly at
late 14c., from loving + -ly (2).
low (n.2) Look up low at
"hill," obsolete except in place names, Old English hlaw "hill, mound," especially "barrow," related to hleonian "to lean" (see lean (v.)). Compare Latin clivus "hill" from the same PIE root.
low (adj.) Look up low at
"not high," late 13c., from lah (late 12c.), "not rising much, being near the base or ground" (of objects or persons); "lying on the ground or in a deep place" (late 13c.), from Old Norse lagr "low," or a similar Scandinavian source (compare Swedish låg, Danish lav), from Proto-Germanic *lega- "lying flat, low" (cognates: Old Frisian lech, Middle Dutch lage, Dutch laag "low," dialectal German läge "flat"), from PIE *legh- "to lie" (see lie (v.2)).

Meaning "humble in rank" is from c. 1200; "undignified" is from 1550s; sense of "dejected, dispirited" is attested from 1737; meaning "coarse, vulgar" is from 1759. In reference to sounds, "not loud," also "having a deep pitch," it is attested from c. 1300. Of prices, from c. 1400. In geographical usage, low refers to the part of a country near the sea-shore (c. 1300, as in Low Countries "Holland, Belgium, Luxemburg," 1540s). As an adverb c. 1200, from the adjective.
low (v.) Look up low at
Old English hlowan "make a noise like a cow," from Proto-Germanic *khlo- (cognates: Middle Dutch loeyen, Dutch loeien, Old Low Franconian luon, Old High German hluojen), from imitative PIE root *kele- (2) "to shout" (see claim (v.)).
low (n.1) Look up low at
sound made by cows, 1540s, from low (v.).
low (adv.) Look up low at
early 13c., from low (adj.). Of voices or sounds, from c. 1300.
low key (adj.) Look up low key at
also low-key, 1895, from low (adj.) + key (n.1), perhaps from the musical sense.
low-budget (adj.) Look up low-budget at
1939, originally of motion pictures; from low (adj.) + budget (n.).
low-class (adj.) Look up low-class at
1868, from low (adj.) + class (n.).
low-down (adj.) Look up low-down at
also low down, lowdown, "vulgar," 1888, from low (adj.) + down (adv.). Earlier it meant "humble" (1540s). As a noun, 1915, from the adjective, American English.
low-grade (adj.) Look up low-grade at
1867, originally in mining, with reference to ores, from low (adj.) + grade (n.).
low-life (adj.) Look up low-life at
"disreputable, vulgar," 1794, from low (adj.) + life; as a noun, "coarse, no-good person" it is recorded from 1911. Also lowlife.
low-profile (adj.) Look up low-profile at
1957, in reference to automobile wheels, from low (adj.) + profile (n.). General sense by 1970, American English, in reference to Nixon Administration policy of partial U.S. disengagement from burdensome commitments abroad.
lowboy (n.) Look up lowboy at
"chest of drawers on short legs," 1891, a hybrid from low (adj.) + French bois "wood" (see bush).
lowbrow (n.) Look up lowbrow at
also low-brow, "person who is not intellectual," 1902, from low (adj.) + brow. Said to have been coined by U.S. journalist Will Irwin (1873-1948), perhaps on the model of highbrow, which seems to be earlier. A low brow on a man as a sign of primitive qualities was common in 19c. fiction, but it also was considered a mark of classical beauty in women.
A low brow and not a very high one is considered beautiful in woman, whereas a high brow and not a low one is the stamp of manhood. ["Medical Review," June 2, 1894]
As an adjective from 1913.
lower (v.1) Look up lower at
c. 1600, "to descend, sink," from lower (adj.), from Middle English lahghere (c. 1200), comparative of low (adj.). Transitive meaning "to let down, to cause to descend" attested from 1650s. Related: Lowered; lowering. In the sense "to cause to descend" the simple verb low (Middle English lahghenn, c. 1200) was in use into the 18c.
lower (v.2) Look up lower at
"to look dark and threatening," also lour, Middle English louren, luren "to frown" (early 13c.), "to lurk" (mid-15c.), from Old English *luran or from its cognates, Middle Low German luren, Middle Dutch loeren "lie in wait." Form perhaps assimilated to lower (1). Related: Lowered; lowering.
lower (adj.) Look up lower at
c. 1200, lahre, comparative of lah (see low (adj.)).
lower-case (adj.) Look up lower-case at
also lowercase, 1680s; see lower (adj.) + case (n.2).
lowercase (v.) Look up lowercase at
"to set (text) in lower-case type," 1911, from lower-case (adj.). Related: Lowercased; lowercasing.
lowermost Look up lowermost at
1560s, from lower (adj.) + -most.
lowest (adj.) Look up lowest at
c. 1200, laghesst, superlative of lah (see low (adj.)).
Lowestoft (n.) Look up Lowestoft at
type of porcelain, named for a town in Suffolk where it was made from 1757.
lowing (n.) Look up lowing at
early 13c., verbal noun from low (v.).
lowland (n.) Look up lowland at
c. 1500, originally with reference to Scotland, from low (adj.) + land (n.). Related: Lowlander.
lowliness (n.) Look up lowliness at
early 15c., from lowly + -ness.
lowly Look up lowly at
c. 1300 (adv.); late 14c. (adj.) "humble," from low (adj.) + -ly.
lowness (n.) Look up lowness at
early 13c., from low (adj.) + -ness.
lox (n.) Look up lox at
1934, American English, from Yiddish laks, from Middle High German lahs "salmon," from Proto-Germanic *lakhs-, from the common IE root for the fish, *laks- (cognates: Lithuanian laszisza, Russian losos, Polish łosoś "salmon").
loxo- Look up loxo- at
word-forming element meaning "oblique," before vowels lox-, from Greek loxos "slanting, crosswise, oblique." E.g. loxodromics "art of oblique sailing."
loyal (adj.) Look up loyal at
1530s, in reference to subjects of sovereigns or governments, from Middle French loyal, from Old French loial, leal "of good quality; faithful; honorable; law-abiding; legitimate, born in wedlock," from Latin legalem, from lex "law." In most cases it has displaced Middle English leal, which is from the same French source. Sense development in English is feudal, via notion of "faithful in carrying out legal obligations." In a general sense (of dogs, lovers, etc.), from c. 1600. As a noun meaning "those who are loyal" from 1530s (originally often in plural).
loyalism (n.) Look up loyalism at
1812, from loyal + -ism.