Easton's Bible Dictionary
This word seems to require explanation only in the case of its use by our Lord in his interview with "Simon, the son of Jonas," after his resurrection (John 21:16, 17). When our Lord says, "Lovest thou me?" he uses the Greek word agapas; and when Simon answers, he uses the Greek word philo, i.e., "I love." This is the usage in the first and second questions put by our Lord; but in the third our Lord uses Simon's word. The distinction between these two Greek words is thus fitly described by Trench:, "Agapan has more of judgment and deliberate choice; philein has more of attachment and peculiar personal affection. Thus the `Lovest thou' (Gr. agapas) on the lips of the Lord seems to Peter at this moment too cold a word, as though his Lord were keeping him at a distance, or at least not inviting him to draw near, as in the passionate yearning of his heart he desired now to do. Therefore he puts by the word and substitutes his own stronger `I love' (Gr. philo) in its room. A second time he does the same. And now he has conquered; for when the Lord demands a third time whether he loves him, he does it in the word which alone will satisfy Peter (`Lovest thou, ' Gr. phileis), which alone claims from him that personal attachment and affection with which indeed he knows that his heart is full."
In 1 Corinthians 13 the apostle sets forth the excellency of love, as the word "charity" there is rendered in the Revised Version.
Noah Webster's New International Dictionary of the English Language
1. (n.) A feeling of strong attachment induced by that which delights or commands admiration; preeminent kindness or devotion to another; affection; tenderness; as, the love of brothers and sisters.
2. (n.) Especially, devoted attachment to, or tender or passionate affection for, one of the opposite sex.
3. (n.) Courtship; -- chiefly in the phrase to make love, i. e., to court, to woo, to solicit union in marriage.
4. (n.) Affection; kind feeling; friendship; strong liking or desire; fondness; good will; -- opposed to hate; often with of and an object.
5. (n.) Due gratitude and reverence to God.
6. (n.) The object of affection; -- often employed in endearing address.
7. (n.) Cupid, the god of love; sometimes, Venus.
8. (n.) A thin silk stuff.
9. (n.) A climbing species of Clematis (C. Vitalba).
10. (n.) Nothing; no points scored on one side; -- used in counting score at tennis, etc.
11. (n.) To have a feeling of love for; to regard with affection or good will; as, to love one's children and friends; to love one's country; to love one's God.
12. (n.) To regard with passionate and devoted affection, as that of one sex for the other.
13. (n.) To take delight or pleasure in; to have a strong liking or desire for, or interest in; to be pleased with; to like; as, to love books; to love adventures.
14. (v. i.) To have the feeling of love; to be in love.