Definition of sweetheart in US English:

sweetheart

noun

  • 1A person with whom someone is having a romantic relationship.

    ‘the pair were childhood sweethearts’
    • ‘Jones, who is married to his childhood sweetheart Tanya, was a relative late-starter in professional football when his career kicked off in 1986.’
    • ‘And only one couple in ten thousand were childhood sweethearts and are actually in love, no matter what the storybooks say.’
    • ‘Welshmen traditionally carved love spoons which their sweethearts wore round their necks on a ribbon.’
    • ‘I'd come to visit a childhood sweetheart, we were still in love after all those years but she was now married.’
    • ‘He has more God-given talent than most baseball players can dream of and the love of his childhood sweetheart waiting for him back home.’
    • ‘Childhood sweethearts Tony Baynham and Kathy Hammond have rekindled their love after 20 years thanks to a chance meeting in cyberspace.’
    • ‘But then men with deep pockets have known to use gold as a show of love to their sweethearts.’
    • ‘Naz, who underwent an arranged marriage in Pakistan at the age of 15 and had two children, had returned to Britain and become pregnant by her childhood sweetheart.’
    • ‘A Very Long Engagement tells the story of Mathilde, a young woman from a small farming community in France who falls in love with her childhood sweetheart.’
    • ‘He's also had a few changes over the years as well, getting married with a childhood sweetheart and then divorcing a few years later, travelling around Asia, etc etc.’
    • ‘In 1961, Gabriel Garca Mrquez left his native Colombia and, along with his childhood sweetheart, Mercedes, went to live in Mexico City, where his son was born.’
    • ‘Nishi is an awkward, insecure manga artist who has never been able to properly confess his love for his childhood sweetheart Myon.’
    • ‘Michel is loved by his childhood sweetheart, the perfect and beautiful Annabelle, whom he can barely love in return, try though he might.’
    • ‘In 1937 Lily married Herbert her childhood sweetheart and they lived for 65 years in King's Chase, Brentwood, where they raised two daughters.’
    • ‘But he is still, of course, hopelessly in love with his childhood sweetheart Pandora Braithwaite, who has become a prominent MP with a nose for a photo opportunity.’
    • ‘One thing Sewall knew for certain as a youngster, however, was his love for his childhood sweetheart, Eleanor, whom he met in 1921 in the 8th grade.’
    • ‘Cameras follow childhood sweethearts Amy and Nobby Newell as they visit the cemetery and mourn the loss of comrades and family.’
    • ‘In this extraordinary letter, the soldier pours out his love for his sweetheart who has borne his child, a child that the woman's husband may suspect not to be his own.’
    • ‘It was only his love for a childhood sweetheart whom he later married that kept any spark of decency alive in him.’
    • ‘Katona decided to end her relationship with Cunningham, her childhood sweetheart, following allegations that he had cheated on her with his ex-girlfriend.’
    girlfriend, boyfriend, lover, beloved, love, significant other, darling, true love, woman friend, man friend, lady friend, lady love, beau, loved one, suitor, admirer, paramour, inamorato, inamorata
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    1. 1.1 Used as a term of endearment or affectionate form of address.
      ‘don't worry, sweetheart, I've got it all worked out’
      • ‘He shook her slightly, ‘Wake up, you're dreaming, sweetheart, it's just a dream!’’
      • ‘Believe me, my dear sweetheart, you are very great - you provoked me and I decided to write you.’
      • ‘This time, with the support of my boss, my sweetheart, my family and friends, and some reserve of strength I found in myself, I've finally turned a corner.’
      • ‘This is the problem with parents who start out telling their kids, ‘You can be anything your pretty little heart desires, sweetheart.’’
      • ‘‘They'll be following once they realize what's happened, but we'll outrun them, sweetheart,’ he said confidently.’
      • ‘Reaching the train station, Tash boarded her train. ‘I'll see you tomorrow, sweetheart!’’
      • ‘He's the one who coached us and he came over to me, sweetheart, I think you could have played professional.’
      • ‘I think we've already hit rock bottom, sweetheart.’
      • ‘‘I'm sorry, sweetheart,’ he said, coming over to give her a hug.’
      • ‘‘It was a very brave thing you did today, sweetheart,’ she smiled.’
      • ‘The greatest gift for any father is having you, my sweetheart, as a daughter.’
      • ‘I hated it when people called you darling, sweetheart, honey, sweetie.’
      • ‘‘You're going to be pretty busy, sweetheart,’ Dad said, looking doubtful.’
      • ‘He was already pacing down the latter half of the hallway when he bellowed back, ‘Yes, and whatever you want, sweetheart, is yours.’’
      • ‘‘Rise and shine, sweetheart,’ I opened my eyes, feeling groggy and tired.’
      • ‘He went through a typical what we call male menopause, and he's not going to come back, sweetheart.’
      • ‘It is my life, my business, my religion, my hobby, my sweetheart, my wife, my mistress, my bread and meat.’
      • ‘I know one thing, sweetheart, we'll always have three staples: Smitty's seafood gumbo, red beans and rice and fried chicken.’
      • ‘‘Keep your eyes on the road, sweetheart,’ I said falsely sweet.’
      • ‘You know, my dear sweetheart, I am denied everything from love to smoking.’
      darling, dear, dearest, love, beloved, dear one, sweet
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    2. 1.2 A particularly lovable or pleasing person or thing.
      ‘he is an absolute sweetheart’
      • ‘She is an absolute sweetheart and we're really glad to have her.’
      • ‘This is an absolute sweetheart of a rifle, beautifully trimmed and properly proportioned to the .223 Cartridge it is chambered for.’
      • ‘I was cursing and hollering, and making Randy look like a sweetheart, when Angel quickly got out and came over to me.’
      • ‘I've talked to her a few times; she's a sweetheart, an absolute sweetheart.’
      • ‘Now, don't get me wrong, the guy is gorgeous and an absolute sweetheart and one of the nicest guys I think I have ever met, and yes, like many of the other girls in my school, I had a mad crush on him.’
      • ‘Lana was surprised that he didn't have a girlfriend since he was attractive and was a sweetheart behind closed doors.’
      • ‘He even managed to meet the lady and says she is an absolute sweetheart.’
      • ‘Please do not despair, all you suffering sweethearts out there with a more modest frontal topography.’
      • ‘She was still a sweetheart or angel or whatever cutesy name Mother thought up for her.’
      • ‘Well, well there's a voice of an angel in that sweetheart's body.’
      lovable person, adorable person, endearing person
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  • 2informal as modifier Denoting an arrangement or agreement reached privately by two sides in an unofficial or illicit way.

    ‘the government has long extended sweetheart contracts to corporations in exchange for services’
    • ‘Last spring, in a bravura display of clout, the industry succeeded in ramming a sweetheart deal through the Florida legislature that gives Big Sugar more time to clean up its act.’
    • ‘We will ballot our members in any factory where they have got a sweetheart deal.’
    • ‘He will get up in Parliament within the next 3 years and demand better roads between Napier and Hastings, and demand a sweetheart deal on an airport.’
    • ‘If a sweetheart deal is obviously unethical and not in the interests of shareholders, legal action can be taken.’
    • ‘Laing has signed a sweetheart deal with the Ucatt union under which workers will be brought onto a contract (rather than be considered self employed) - but at a loss of pay.’
    • ‘He took $6 million through a really questionable sweetheart backroom deal with the Bush administration.’
    • ‘This is not a group of people who are looking for special favors (such as sweetheart land deals) from the government.’
    • ‘Sports owners have tremendous leverage because they have sweetheart stadium and arena deals that give them more flexibility in paying star players, and they can freely pass on ticket fees.’
    • ‘There has also been talk about buying back this network as a sweetheart deal with Toll Holdings.’
    • ‘Vizard's reputation was damaged because he committed a crime, concealed it, then arranged a sweetheart deal to avoid criminal sanctions.’
    • ‘After all, who has time to cover the world when you've cut a sweetheart deal with the victim's sister?’
    • ‘I bought the Texas Rangers baseball team in a sweetheart deal that took land using taxpayer money.’
    • ‘Political watchdog groups have described it as a sweetheart arrangement for corporations close to the Bush administration.’
    • ‘Personally, I can't imagine what kind of sweetheart deal Intel thought they were getting to sign up for a one-sided contract like this.’
    • ‘No more featherbedding, no more sweetheart agreements!’
    • ‘Yet another way is for top management to covertly divert company resources to friends and family and self through sweetheart deals.’
    • ‘Don't forget they signed a sweetheart deal with Lexmark to hustle printers, too.’
    • ‘This sweetheart deal has been used to try to avoid confrontation.’
    • ‘Arguably, the only reason the Valentia consortium won was due to a sweetheart deal with the trade unions.’

Pronunciation

sweetheart

/ˈswitˌhɑrt//ˈswētˌhärt/