Definition of valentine in US English:



  • 1A card sent, often anonymously, on St. Valentine's Day (February 14) to a person one loves or is attracted to.

    • ‘Sooner or later, we begin to understand that love is more than verses on valentines and romance in the movies.’
    • ‘Campaigners asked supporters nationwide to send valentines to the secretary of the Treasury, asking him to appeal to Congress to act quickly on the issue.’
    • ‘I overheard two fifteen year old girls behind me at the ATM planning to get together tomorrow night and eat ice cream and comfort each other when they didn't get any valentines.’
    • ‘To appreciate printing in everyday items students look at my collection of antique valentines and share each other's budding collections of beautiful greeting cards.’
    • ‘Strange men followed her in the street, and anonymous valentines, love poems, and long-stemmed red roses in bouquets of a dozen found their way to her door.’
    • ‘I received 24 email valentines at work, and every single one was a hack attempt.’
    • ‘She used to boast she got a valentine from the actor (she didn't).’
    • ‘And, yes, I have sent a valentine, I'm just not saying who to.’
    • ‘The one thing I do love about Valentine's Day is being able to post my favorite creepy valentines.’
    • ‘The oldest known greeting card of any type still in existence is a valentine from 1400, and it is displayed at the British Museum in London.’
    • ‘We've made cards for children in Africa, valentines for hospital patients, and Easter bonnets to sell at our fundraising auction.’
    • ‘Much later, Esther Howland, a resident of Worchester and a college student at Mt. Holyoke during the late 1820s, decided to create her own valentines.’
    • ‘I want to send my dearest friend a special valentine, with x's, o's, and hearts and bows, so she'll know that she is mine!’
    • ‘As she seems easily fooled, why not send yourself sheaves of valentines and other billets-doux?’
    • ‘In every play I write there is a valentine to Carl and there's a valentine to Anne.’
    • ‘I didn't think juniors still gave out valentines (I stopped giving and receiving seven years ago, that streak being broken last year), but I guess I was wrong.’
    • ‘I thought that true love was giving your crush a valentine and getting one in return.’
    • ‘I cringe every time I remember the disastrous valentine I sent him back in second grade, when I had a major crush on him.’
    1. 1.1 A person to whom one sends a card on Valentine's Day.
      • ‘Plus, you sent me that note asking me to be your valentine.’
      • ‘If your valentine disappears behind a hedge tonight, or receives a card you didn't send, beware.’
      • ‘I decided to walk up to my crush and hand him a homemade valentine signed, ‘Please be my valentine.’’
      • ‘You're all I need, my love, my valentine.’
      • ‘Actually the trick with having a valentine is loving them every OTHER day of the year.’
      • ‘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.’’
      • ‘The boy has sent another one, saying she will always be his valentine, even if she tears up his cards.’
      • ‘Daphne will be my valentine and I'll be hers.’
      • ‘I do have a valentine and I made him a homemade card.’


Late Middle English (denoting a person chosen (sometimes by lot) as a sweetheart or special friend): from Old French Valentin, from Latin Valentinus.