Definition of darling in English:



  • 1Used as an affectionate form of address to a beloved person.

    ‘good night, darling’
    • ‘I remember those nights of summer filled with magnificent beauty of faraway landscapes - but around you, my darling, I could never be able to see anything more charming.’
    • ‘I love you so much, darling, and I'm never going to let you be alone.’
    • ‘‘You look lovely every night, my darling,’ he responded, stretching his hand towards her.’
    • ‘Alexandra laughed as Justin hit the bull's eye, ‘You are so good, darling, that's why I love you so very much.’’
    • ‘We cannot stay young forever, my darling,’ my mother said as she tucked a loose strand of black hair behind my ear.’
    • ‘‘We, Jaques, my darling, are going to run away,’ she stated firmly.’
    • ‘‘Oh, hello, my darlings,’ cried Artemisia, holding her arms open to her children, who moved into her arms together.’
    • ‘Come to me, my darlings, and help me once again to make an informed decision.’
    • ‘I built my new life in Aberystwyth, met new friends at the women's group, and raised you two, my darlings.’
    • ‘Until she is as eloquent as you are, my sweet darling, we are speaking English in this household.’
    • ‘Soon I will be lost in the darkness and Damita, my sweet darling, will be nothing but a memory.’
    • ‘There, right outside my door, stood him, my darling, my love.’
    • ‘A smile widened his mouth and his beautiful eyes gleamed with happiness. ‘I love you too, my darling.’’
    • ‘My dear, my darling, my love, the question is not when have you ever been my muse, but when have you ever not been my muse.’
    • ‘Girlfriend: (strolling on a moonlit beach) Do you love me, darling?’
    • ‘I go to sleep in the car sometimes and, thinking Peter is Penny, I put my hand on his thigh and say: ‘I love you, darling!’’
    • ‘‘Now go, my darlings,’ ordered Mother, rising from the sofa on which we had been sitting.’
    • ‘‘Love you too, darling,’ Cale drawled once he realized that she wasn't awake.’
    • ‘Saying this, his eyes softened as did his grip on me, ‘I will always love you, darling.’’
    • ‘Come sit by me, my little darlings, my babies, my own.’
    dear, dearest, dear one, love, lover, sweetheart, beloved, sweet
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1 A lovable or endearing person.
      ‘he's such a darling’
      • ‘The onus is on you to be desirable company when you are with your darling - to be an ardent and tender partner, and to take a deeper interest in your union.’
      • ‘Alex would do his duty and fuss at her behavior, because that is what a father has to do to prepare his precious darling for the wide world.’
      • ‘So the next time you find yourself disappointed in Nancy's favourite sports star, ask yourself why it was that the only qualifications you required for a good role model for your darling were good stick handling or a sweet free throw.’
      • ‘A number of our friends lined up for cuddles with the wee darling, and several photos of people who we had not hitherto suspected of being clucky fussing Rebecca now exist.’
      • ‘The onus is on you to put magic into each moment spent in your darling's company.’
      • ‘‘Your two favourite things,’ sighed my darling as she headed for bed.’
    2. 1.2 A person who is particularly popular with a certain group.
      ‘he is the darling of Labour's left wing’
      • ‘The French documents uncovered by the St Andrews team reveal that from the moment Mary arrived in France in 1548, she was welcomed as the darling of the court.’
      • ‘While he was the darling of the indie community and even got nominated for a very un-underground Academy Award, his persona was always that of an outsider, never comfortable with his fan base or his success.’
      • ‘The darling of the French public retains his popularity with most, although he is lampooned by some for his melodramatic 18 months of denial.’
      • ‘In the meantime, you should also read the column by Ann Coulter, a somewhat shrewish looking woman of modest talent (going on her three columns so far) sometimes known as the darling of the right.’
      • ‘Shares in Bezos's company, which was the darling of the internet stock market investor, fell to be worth under $70.’
      • ‘Born in Montreal, of an American father, she may only be the darling of France until her next defeat.’
      • ‘At the Chiswell Street Conference Hall, Souter will mention all of this in an attempt to entice the City to take another look at the company that was once the darling of investors.’
      • ‘The 21-year-old, whose hits included Come on Everybody and Summertime Blues, was the darling of British teenagers.’
      • ‘During his relatively short but immensely eventful life Eric Knight went from working in a bottle factory to become the darling of Hollywood, and a friend of Eleanor Roosevelt.’
      • ‘He's always fashioned himself as the darling of the left.’
      • ‘The cover story brought home the point that Anil Ambani is the darling of the media.’
      • ‘His record of 38 wins, no losses, includes 16 defences of his WBU title, and his all-action style has made Hatton the darling of his Manchester home town where his fans are both loyal and loud.’
      • ‘But tomorrow's results should go some way towards restoring investors' faith in the company which only two years ago was the darling of the City.’
      • ‘Enthusiasm in being the darling of the company will be so overwhelming that you will have to be quite firm to not be taken away by this desire.’
      • ‘His wit and brilliance made him the darling of the popular cause.’
      • ‘Dusty Springfield, the darling of British blue-eyed soul, performs her greatest hits and a few surprises to an adoring crowd in this 1979 concert.’
      • ‘He was the darling of the West and a popular personality in regional and international forums.’
      • ‘The Food Reserve Agency appears not be the darling of many farmers.’
      • ‘This winning combination, plus a willingness to play fast and loose with her image, has made her the darling of the fashion cognoscenti as well as film anoraks.’
      • ‘He would go on to be knighted and become a celebrated portraitist, the darling of society and a very rich man.’
      favourite, pet, apple of one's eye, celebrity, idol, hero, heroine
      View synonyms


  • 1Beloved.

    ‘his darling wife’
    • ‘But it was Pride and Prejudice that Austen described as her ‘own darling child’ which received highly favourable reviews, including an anonymous one from Sir Walter Scott.’
    • ‘He was predeceased by his darling wife, Maureen, and their son Pat.’
    • ‘In his letter to Joanne, he wrote: ‘For my darling Jo Jo, I have never loved a soul the way I love you.’’
    • ‘A young man at a card store before Valentine's Day reading from a card he has picked: ‘… to my darling valentine, my one and only love.’’
    • ‘This is for you, my darling Willie - your best friend with love, Maggie.’
    • ‘‘I love you so much, my darling Sanura,’ Kira whispered blissfully.’
    • ‘Our darling daughter Sarah's most frequent request is (in her words) ‘the Tick Tock song.’’
    • ‘However, I'm not sure I want to attend a school just because my darling boyfriend/best friend is going to be there.’
    • ‘I carried on with the grieving process and I am happy to say that in the end I was able to read her letters and look at the photographs and feel I had got my darling mother back.’
    • ‘At the airport, Amber emerges from First Class and courageously runs the gauntlet of paparazzi the tears coursing down behind her Versace shades (a present from darling Donatella).’
    • ‘I heard my dear, darling son repeat some of my better French in the background.’
    • ‘You are a smart, darling, self-sufficient, loving woman who wants a smart, darling loving man.’
    • ‘Even more extraordinary are the heart shaped biscuits that are decorated with messages saying ‘My dear little sausage’ or ‘My darling marzipan’.’
    • ‘The first time I started wondering about life after death was when I lost my dear darling nan, it was so sudden and a very big shock, she was the first person that I had lost close to me.’
    • ‘To my darling sugarplum… hang on, this is a love letter!’
    • ‘He also prayed for Jonathan's mother, who had never been the same since losing both her beloved husband and darling daughter, and for her son.’
    • ‘It would seem that Sammy's dear little darling sister has struck again.’
    • ‘Over the years, she had come to count on him as one of the pillars in her life, just like her father, her deceased mother, and now, her darling little Bess.’
    • ‘‘Oh, I think the music's great,’ responded our darling son in a replay, no doubt, of father-son conversations taking place all over the world.’
    • ‘I tried to give him more love and assurance that he was still my darling prince, just that now he might have to share his kingdom with a new princess, and that he would thank me later.’
    dear, dearest, precious, adored, loved, beloved, much loved, favourite, cherished, treasured, prized, esteemed, worshipped, idolized, lionized
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1 (in affected use) pretty; charming.
      ‘a darling little pillbox hat’
      • ‘Ava packed all kinds of cute little outfits for the bush including some sweet sweater sets and a darling pair of heels.’
      • ‘Leading this group was a gorgeous blonde flapper dressed in darling scarlet and smoking a cigarette carelessly.’
      • ‘Haleigh has such a darling family - her baby sister is just gorgeous, though I don't think I can say the same for her younger brother.’
      • ‘Even beautiful men with damaged hearts and darling little girls needed friends.’
      • ‘Her voice was soft and polite though and flavoured with gentle English sibilants, with ever such cute flecks of a darling ethnic Punjabi accent.’
      • ‘It poked its little head out of his lap, and its little blue eyes were darling!’
      delightful, adorable, lovable, precious, appealing, charming, cute, sweet, enchanting, bewitching, captivating, alluring, engaging, endearing, dear, lovely, beautiful, attractive, gorgeous, winsome, winning, fetching, pleasing
      View synonyms


  • be a darling

    • informal Used as a friendly or encouraging preface to a request.

      ‘be a darling and don't mention I'm here’
      • ‘Come on, Wendy, be a darling and stay for like thirty minutes, that's all I ask, all right?’
      • ‘So, if you'll be a darling, Desiree, I'd appreciate if you all returned back to the garden while I have a few words with my husband.’
      • ‘Yes, yes, Alicia, be a darling and save the mazurka for me.’
      • ‘Be a darling and get the eggplant out from the vegetable crisper, will you?’
      • ‘Can you be a darling and get me a glass of lime juice?’
      • ‘Mum butted in, ‘Ben, be a darling and bring Ellie's things in the house whilst I make us a nice hot drink.’’
      • ‘If you spot anything not right be a darling and tell me in the comments.’


Old English dēorling (see dear, -ling).