"one who is enamored, person in love," 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 (adj., 1875); loverless (1824). Lover's quarrel is from 1660s; lover's leap, usually involving a local crag and a fanciful story, is from 1831; Lover's Lane for a remote spot popular with lovers is from 1881.
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