to have very strong feelings of affection for somebody:
I love you; If you love each other, why not get married?; Her much-loved brother lay dying of AIDS; He had become a well-loved member of staff; Relatives need time to grieve over loved ones they have lost; to love your country
SYNONYMS love like • be fond of • adore • be devoted to • care for • dote on/upon
These words all mean to have feelings of love or affection for somebody.
love to have strong feelings of affection for somebody: I love you. like to find somebody pleasant and enjoy being with them: She’s nice. I like her. be fond of somebody to feel affection for somebody, especially somebody you have known for a long time: I’ve always been very fond of your mother. adore to love somebody very much: It’s obvious that she adores him. be devoted to somebody to love somebody very much and be loyal to them: They are devoted to their children. care for somebody to love somebody, especially in a way that is based on strong affection or a feeling of wanting to protect them, rather than sex: He cared for her more than she realized. NOTE. Care for is often used when somebody has not told anyone about their feelings or is just starting to be aware of them. It is also used when somebody wishes that somebody loved them, or doubts that somebody does: If he really cared for you, he wouldn’t behave like that dote on somebody to feel and show great love for somebody, ignoring their faults: He dotes on his children.
PATTERNS AND COLLOCATIONS • to really love/like/adore/care for/dote on somebody • to be really/genuinely fond of/devoted to somebody • to love/like/care for somebody very much • to love/adore somebody passionately