noun, plural E·ro·tes [uhroh-teez] /əˈroʊ tiz/ for 2, 3.

  1. the ancient Greek god of love, identified by the Romans with Cupid.
  2. a representation of this god.
  3. a winged figure of a child representing love or the power of love.
  4. (sometimes lowercase) physical love; sexual desire.Compare agape2(def 2).
  5. Astronomy. an asteroid that approaches to within 14 million miles (22.5 million km) of the earth once every 44 years.
  6. Psychiatry.
    1. the libido.
    2. instincts for self-preservation collectively.


  1. Greek myth the god of love, son of AphroditeRoman counterpart: Cupid
  2. Also called: life instinct (in Freudian theory) the group of instincts, esp sexual, that govern acts of self-preservation and that tend towards uninhibited enjoyment of lifeCompare Thanatos

god of love, late 14c., from Greek eros (plural erates), literally “love,” related to eran “to love,” erasthai “to love, desire,” of uncertain origin.

Freudian sense of “urge to self-preservation and sexual pleasure” is from 1922. Ancient Greek distinguished four ways of love: erao “to be in love with, to desire passionately or sexually;” phileo “have affection for;” agapao “have regard for, be contented with;” and stergo, used especially of the love of parents and children or a ruler and his subjects.


  1. In psychoanalytic theory, the sum of all instincts for self-preservation.
  2. Sexual drive; libido.

A Greek and Roman god of love, often called the son of Aphrodite. He is better known by his Roman name.

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