cupboard love (uncountable)

  1. Insincere (and usually fickle) love pretended in the hope of gaining something useful in exchange.
    • 1788, Anna Seward, Letter to Mrs Knowles April 20, 1788 read in Archibald Constable (editor), Letters of Anna Seward: Written Between the Years 1784 and 1807, Archibald Constable & Co, and Longman, etc. (1811) p. 103,
      This last and long-enduring passion for Mrs Thrale was, however, composed equally perhaps of cupboard-love, Platonic love, and vanity tickled and gratified from morn to night by incessant homage.
    • 1818, Thomas Brown, Bath, a satirical novel[1], page 114:
      Besides, Sandy includes a little cupboard love in the detail of his sentiments. Nothing can be a more undeniable proof of the truth of this statement than the trials of Mrs. K—— and Mrs. D——. In both instances the lovers were nice, attentive fatherly men.
    • 2006, Hilary Lloyd, A Necessary Killing, UKA Press, →ISBN, p. 30,
      I stump down my field, not the lane past Mike's, and the ewes think it's feeding time. I let them bombard me, grateful for the noisy bleating of their cupboard love.
    • 2006, Neil A. Harris, The Council of Elders: The Halfling Chronicles Book 1, AuthorHouse, →ISBN, p. 191,
      You don't owe them anything Stephen, its just cupboard love...suddenly they need you...you said it yourself, they never contacted you before.


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