loved one



loved one (plural loved ones)

  1. A very close friend or family member for whom a person has feelings of endearment, one of someone's close ones; sometimes: next of kin (for example on hospital admission form).
    • 1904, Jack London, chapter 30, in The Sea-Wolf (Macmillan’s Standard Library), New York, N.Y.: Grosset & Dunlap, OCLC 169815:
      I felt myself masculine, the protector of the weak, the fighting male. And, best of all, I felt myself the protector of my loved one. She leaned against me.
    • 1977, David Byrne (lyrics and music), “Don't Worry About the Government”, in Talking Heads: 77, performed by Talking Heads:
      It's gonna be easy to get things done / I will relax along with my loved ones / Loved ones, loved ones visit the building
    • 2020 June 5, Alyson Krueger, “The Agonizing Question: Is New York City Worth It Anymore?”, in New York Times[1]:
      “Friends called around and sat on pillars outside the building and I talked to them out the window,” said Ms. Cunningham, who added that she kept in touch with loved ones over Zoom as well.
  2. (euphemistic) A recently deceased close friend or family member.
    • 2003 March 29, Jessica Watson, “Laying to rest the days of his and hearse”, in Guardian (UK)[2], retrieved 23 June 2008:
      Whereas once the main option was a traditional black hearse service, these days a "green funeral" with a cardboard coffin is just one of the alternative ways to send off a loved one.

Usage notesEdit

  • Often used in the plural to refer to the family of a deceased person.