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.

    • ‘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.’
    • ‘And, yes, I have sent a valentine, I'm just not saying who to.’
    • ‘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!’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘In every play I write there is a valentine to Carl and there's a valentine to Anne.’
    • ‘I cringe every time I remember the disastrous valentine I sent him back in second grade, when I had a major crush on him.’
    • ‘As she seems easily fooled, why not send yourself sheaves of valentines and other billets-doux?’
    • ‘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 thought that true love was giving your crush a valentine and getting one in return.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Sooner or later, we begin to understand that love is more than verses on valentines and romance in the movies.’
    • ‘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 received 24 email valentines at work, and every single one was a hack attempt.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘The one thing I do love about Valentine's Day is being able to post my favorite creepy valentines.’
    • ‘She used to boast she got a valentine from the actor (she didn't).’
    • ‘We've made cards for children in Africa, valentines for hospital patients, and Easter bonnets to sell at our fundraising auction.’
    1. 1.1 A person to whom one sends a card on Valentine's Day.
      • ‘You're all I need, my love, my valentine.’
      • ‘I decided to walk up to my crush and hand him a homemade valentine signed, ‘Please be my valentine.’’
      • ‘The boy has sent another one, saying she will always be his valentine, even if she tears up his cards.’
      • ‘Actually the trick with having a valentine is loving them every OTHER day of the year.’
      • ‘Plus, you sent me that note asking me to be your valentine.’
      • ‘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.’’
      • ‘I do have a valentine and I made him a homemade card.’
      • ‘Daphne will be my valentine and I'll be hers.’
      • ‘If your valentine disappears behind a hedge tonight, or receives a card you didn't send, beware.’


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