Discussion in 'English Only' started by dolcedell, Sep 22, 2009.

  1. dolcedell Senior Member


    I'm always confused about the meaning of these two words: "loved" and "beloved". For example:

    "She was a beloved wife of almost seven years."
    "She was a loved wife of almost seven years."

    What's the different meaning of these two sentences?

    And also, there are the antonyms of each, "unbeloved" and "unloved". For example:

    "The middle child is the one who always feels left out or unbeloved."
    "The middle child is the one who always feels left out or unloved."

    Is it about using as predicative or attributive?

    Thanks a lot.
  2. egremoq Senior Member

    England / English
    The conventional adjectives are beloved and unloved. You could say a much loved wife, but a loved wife sounds odd. Unbeloved exists but I've rarely if ever heard it used.
  3. mplsray Senior Member

    Beloved can be used in this manner, although the rest of the wording strikes me as a bit odd.

    I was going to say "Loved is not used in this fashion." but Webster's Third New International Dictionary, Unabridged, gives it as a synonym for cherished and shows the example "death ... deprived him of a loved companion -- W.C.Ford." Nevertheless, I would advise you to avoid it.

    I would avoid this usage.

    Unloved is indeed used in this fashion in everyday speech.

    I'm not sure.
  4. sdgraham

    sdgraham Senior Member

    Oregon, USA
    USA English
    I can understand your confusion, dolcedell.
    I don't know that there's a hard and fast rule - only that it's one of those things that one just has to learn in context.

    For example, a minister might open a wedding ceremony with "Dearly beloved. We are gathered here .....

    Obviously, the minister doesn't have amorous feelings toward the audience (at least we hope not), but is an expression of general Christian love (at least as it is supposed to be.)

    "Beloved" tends to be used in obituaries.

    No, there's not an "unbeloved,"

    Good luck...
  5. YourNightmare New Member

    According to my two dictionaries, Webster's New Universal Unabridged Dictionary and The Oxford Encyclopedic English Dictionary, "unbeloved" is in fact a word. Just an FYI in case anyone else reads this thread. I just didn't want someone to read this thread and take your reply as being correct.
    Last edited: Sep 18, 2014

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