Love Begets Love: Definition, Meaning, And Origin

Last Updated on
June 23, 2023

The idiom "love begets love" means that expressing love and kindness towards others encourages them to act similarly. It suggests that giving love tends to generate more love.

In short:

"Love begets love" means that if you behave lovingly or kindly to someone, they will behave in a similar way.

What Does "Love Begets Love" Mean?

The meaning of the idiom love begets love is based on the idea that love is a reciprocal emotion that can inspire more love in return. It suggests that by showing love, kindness, and goodwill toward someone, you can influence them to behave in a similar way to yourself or to others. It also implies that love is a positive and powerful force that can overcome hatred, resentment, or indifference.

Let's explore its core meanings and usage:

  • It frequently encapsulates the belief that positive actions and attitudes often encourage similar behaviors in others.
  • It implies the principle of reciprocity, where kind and loving actions result in receiving similar actions in return.
  • Although generally used in informal or colloquial settings, the phrase is relevant in discussions about empathy, the dynamics of human interactions, and the philosophy of "what goes around comes around."

Where Does "Love Begets Love" Come From?

The origin of the phrase "love begets love" is difficult to pinpoint. The idea that love and kindness can inspire similar emotions in others has been a universal theme in human culture and philosophy for centuries. Some sources attribute the phrase to the Christian Bible, while others believe it may have roots in ancient Greek or Roman literature. Regardless of its origin, its message has been a guiding principle in many cultures and belief systems.

Historical Example

Hence the old saying, " Love begets Love," and the old song, I love my Love because my Love loves me."

- A Lecture on Love, 1816

10 Examples of "Love Begets Love" in Sentences

Here are some examples of the idiom in use:

  • The wedding venue was a sight to behold, proving that love begets love in even the smallest details.
  • She started helping others in her community, understanding that love begets love.
  • Pro tip: Be kind to others because love begets love.
  • Love begets love, so he made a point to show kindness to everyone he met.
  • From my experience, the saying love begets love is indeed true.
  • When she showed kindness to the homeless man, he returned it with gratitude, proving that love begets love.
  • That being said, it's crucial to remember that love begets love, and your actions can have a positive ripple effect.
  • Despite his initial apprehension, he realized that by showing love, he received it in return because love begets love.
  • His grand gesture at the airport was a testament to how love begets love, moving everyone who witnessed it.
  • The proverb "love begets love" can explain why people tend to respond positively when shown love and kindness.

Examples of "Love Begets Love" in Pop Culture

The phrase "love begets love" often appears in pop culture, typically reflecting reciprocated love or kindness.

Let's explore some instances:

  • "Love Begets Love" is a song by Jocelyn Mackenzie from the album Push.
  • "A number of other studies corroborate the old infirmity that aggressiveness begets aggressiveness and love begets love" is a quote from the 2002 book "Ways & Power Of Love Techniques Of Moral Transformation."
  • In the popular TV series Jane the Virgin, Alba tells Jane, "Because you chose him. So maybe love begets love."

Other/Different Ways to Say "Love Begets Love"

Numerous alternative expressions convey a similar meaning to "love begets love."

Here are some of them:

  • Kindness breeds kindness
  • Goodness yields goodness
  • What goes around comes around
  • One good turn deserves another
  • You reap what you sow
  • Love breeds love
  • You give what you give

10 Frequently Asked Questions About "Love Begets Love":

  • What does "love begets love" mean?

"Love begets love" means that showing love or kindness often results in receiving the same in return.

  • How can I use "love begets love" in a sentence?

You can use "love begets love" to express the belief that loving actions often inspire similar responses. For example, "He always smiled at strangers, believing that love begets love."

  • Where does the idiom "love begets love" come from?

The specific origin of the phrase "love begets love" is unclear, despite its universal theme that expressing love and kindness can inspire similar reactions in others. While some believe it has roots in the Christian Bible or ancient Greek or Roman literature, its principle has been widely accepted across various cultures and belief systems.

  • Can "love begets love" be applied to other emotions or actions?

Yes, the concept of "love begets love" can be applied broadly to suggest that actions and attitudes, positive or negative, can inspire similar responses in others.

  • Does "love begets love" apply to romantic love only?

No, the phrase "love begets love" can apply to various types of love, such as platonic love, familial love, or general kindness and compassion towards others.

  • Is "love begets love" a universal concept?

Yes, the concept that actions inspire similar reactions is a universal human understanding, recognizable across different cultures and languages.

  • Can "love begets love" refer to negative consequences?

While "love begets love" specifically refers to the reciprocation of love and kindness, the underlying concept—that actions inspire similar reactions—can apply to negative behaviors as well.

  • Can I use "love begets love" in a professional context?

"Love begets love" can be used in various contexts, including professional ones, as long as it aligns with the tone and purpose of the communication.

  • Is "love begets love" similar to "an eye for an eye"?

While both idioms convey the idea of reciprocation, "love begets love" typically refers to a positive cycle of actions, while "an eye for an eye" usually refers to retaliation or vengeance.

  • Does "love begets love" mean the same as "what goes around comes around"?

"Love begets love" and "what goes around comes around" share a similar principle—that actions can inspire similar reactions—but the latter can apply to both positive and negative actions, while the former focuses on love and kindness.

Final Thoughts About "Love Begets Love"

The idiom "love begets love" underscores the belief that actions inspire similar responses. We often receive the same in return when we show love or kindness. This principle can also apply broadly to other actions and attitudes, emphasizing the power of our behavior in shaping our interactions and relationships.

Here's a quick recap:

  • The phrase suggests that positive actions can lead to positive outcomes.
  • It highlights the reciprocal nature of human interaction.
  • It serves as a reminder of our action's impact on others.

Whether dealing with personal relationships, social interactions, or even professional contexts, understanding this idiom can enrich our interactions and foster a more positive, reciprocating environment.

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