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Love is the emotion of strong affection and personal attachment.[1] In philosophical context, love is a virtue representing all of human kindness, compassion, and affection. In some religiouscontexts, love is not just a virtue, but the basis for all being, as in the Roman Catholic phrase, "God is love"[2]. Love may also be described as actions towards others (or oneself) based on compassion.[3]Or as actions towards others based on affection.[4]
The word love can refer to a variety of different feelings, states, and attitudes, ranging from generic pleasure ("I loved that meal") to intenseinterpersonal attraction ("I love my partner"). "Love" can also refer specifically to the passionate desire and intimacy of romantic love, to the sexual love of eros (cf. Greek words for love), to theemotional closeness of familial love, or to the platonic love that defines friendship,[5] to the profound oneness or devotion of religious love. [6] This diversity of uses and meanings, combined withthe complexity of the feelings involved, makes love unusually difficult to consistently define, even compared to other emotional states.
Love in its various forms acts as a major facilitator ofinterpersonal relationships and, owing to its central psychological importance, is one of the most common themes in the creative arts.
The word "love" can have a variety of related but distinct meaningsin different contexts. Often, other languages use multiple words to express some of the different concepts that English relies mainly on "love" to encapsulate; one example is the plurality of Greekwords for "love." Cultural differences in conceptualizing love thus make it doubly difficult to establish any universal definition.[7]
Although the nature or essence of love is a subject of frequentdebate, different aspects of the word can be clarified by determining what isn't love. As a general expression of positive sentiment (a stronger form of like), love is commonly contrasted with hate (or...
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