- one's sweetheart, esp. as chosen or greeted on Valentine's Day
- a greeting card or note sent or given on Valentine's Day, typically containing an expression of affection or sentimental love
- a gift presented on Valentine's Day
Origin of valentineMiddle English from Old French
a masculine name
Origin of ValentineMiddle English from Classical Latin Valentinus from Valens, a masculine name from valens: see valence
(3d cent. ); Christian martyr of Rome: his day is Feb. 14
- a. A sentimental or humorous greeting card sent to a sweetheart, friend, or family member, for example, on Saint Valentine's Day.b. A gift sent as a token of love to one's sweetheart on Saint Valentine's Day.
- A person singled out especially as one's sweetheart on Saint Valentine's Day.
Origin of valentineAfterSaint Valentine Word History: Lovers and the greeting card industry may have Geoffrey Chaucer to thank for the holiday that warms the coldest month. In the late 1300s, we begin to find the first clear references to a tradition relating February 14, St. Valentine's Day, to romantic love: St. Valentine's Day is the day on which the birds, returning in the very early spring, choose their mates. (Spring was often thought to begin in the middle of February in 14th-century Europe.) Although reference books abound with references to Roman festivals from which St. Valentine's Day may derive, there is in fact very little evidence of such a connection between ancient pagan customs and the modern holiday. Moreover, there are several saints named Valentine in the Christian tradition, but there is nothing in particular in the life stories of any of these Valentines that might have inspired the late medieval traditions surrounding St. Valentine's Day. The scholar Jack B. Oruch has therefore suggested that Chaucer was probably the first to link the saint's day with the custom of choosing sweethearts. No such link has been found before the writings of Chaucer and several literary contemporaries who also mention it, but after them the association becomes widespread. Oruch proposes that Chaucer, the most imaginative of his literary circle, invented it. The earliest description of the tradition may occur in Chaucer's Parlement of Foules, composed around 1380, which takes place on Seynt Valentynes day, / Whan every foul [bird] cometh there to chese [choose] his make [mate].
Saintfl. third century AD
Roman Christian who according to tradition was martyred during the persecution of Christians by Emperor Claudius II. Saint Valentine's Day was primarily celebrated in his honor, but was also inspired by another martyr named Valentine, who was bishop of Terni, a region in central Italy.
- An expression of affection, especially romantic affection, usually in the form of greeting card, gift, or message given to a person the object of affection, especially on February 14th.
- Such an extravagant valentine was unexpected.
- A person to whom a valentine is given or received, especially on February 14th.
- Won't you be my valentine?
From Saint Valentine's Day (“day of celebration of romantic love")