The Four Greek Definitions of Love

Essay by HappycamperCollege, UndergraduateA+, February 2006

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According to modern English definition supplied by, love is described as: 1. A deep, tender, ineffable feeling of affection and solicitude toward a person, such as that arising from kinship, recognition of attractive qualities, or a sense of underlying oneness. 2. A feeling of intense desire and attraction toward a person with whom one is disposed to make a pair; the emotion of sex and romance. 3. Sexual passion, sexual intercourse, or a love affair. 4. An intense emotional attachment, as for a pet or treasured object. 5. An expression of one's affection. There are many more meanings for this one word, but this is the gist of it. Isn't it amazing in English we just have one word for all of these definitions and that word is just "love?" In Greek however, different words are used to describe different types of love: Philia, Storge, Eros, and Agape.

Philia is used to describe friendship, or the love between friends. This is the definition's first section of number one above; deep ineffable feeling of affection toward a person, such as arising from kinship. I believe this to be the love that you have when your best-friend calls and wants to talk, and you listen even though you really don't want to. This could also be the love that you show a small child when you slowly correct them over and over again without losing your patience.

Storge is familial love, for instance the love created when a baby is born and is placed into the arms of its parents. This is a love for a pet when you consider it your child. It is unconditional, meaning timeless and everlasting. This love does not go away. It knows no bounds. This can also be the love you can have for...