AbstractThe paper puts forward an analytic definition of “love” that is intended to characterize the use of the word in expressions of the form “He/she loves...” It is proposed that when “love” is used in such contexts, it denotes “a disposition towards either (i) desiring a perceived good or desiring union with it, either as an end itself or with it being a source of delight in itself or (ii) desiring good for a particular object for its own sake.” The first of these might be referred to as unitive love and the second as contributory love. A defense of the definition is offered by considering its application to a number of seemingly problematic cases. Many of the puzzling features of “love” arise from the disjunctive nature of its use – that we use “love” when either unitive or contributory love is present. Confusions arise when we take what can be said about unitive love, and apply this to contributory love, or vice versa, or when we assume all uses of “love” entail both unitive and contributory aspects. Consideration is given to the implications of the proposed definition and distinctions for cultivating love within society, marriages, political life, and media.