No Love Lost – Idiom, Origin and Meaning

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Candace Osmond

Candace Osmond studied Advanced Writing & Editing Essentials at MHC. She’s been an International and USA TODAY Bestselling Author for over a decade. And she’s worked as an Editor for several mid-sized publications. Candace has a keen eye for content editing and a high degree of expertise in Fiction.

“No love lost” is just one of many examples of the collection of idioms found in the English language. If you’ve never heard of this phrase, I’ve got all the details right here! I’ll even share some sentence examples showing how you can properly work the phrase into your conversations and writing.

Is It Love Loss or Love Lost?

The correct expression, in this case, is “no love lost” and definitely not “love loss.” The idiomatic phrase is meant to be used in its entirety in order for the true meaning to come through.

Meaning of No Love Lost

No Love Lost Idiom Origin Meaning

The common phrase “no love lost” is one we use in English to describe a situation where at least two people have a mutual dislike or some kind of animosity towards each other. You might think it means two people have fought but decided no love has been lost between them, but that’s not the case.

It simply implies that there’s no affection or friendliness between the individuals involved. It’s an idiom often used to show strained relationships or rivalries on some level. There’s no love lost because no love was there to begin with.

Origin of the Phrase No Love Lost

Believe it or not, the phrase originally meant the exact opposite of how it’s used today. It started around the late 1500s and was used to show how there is so much love between two or more people. But it must be reciprocated love because the phrase in this context shows that the love from one isn’t lost because the other loves them back.

One of the first published notes of it was by an English author named John Taylor, in his work Travel of a Twelve-pence around 1622, where the excerpt read, “They love me not, which makes ’em quickly spend me. But there’s no great love lost ‘twixt them and mee, We keepe asunder and so best agree.”

Today, you can use it in both contexts, but the negative version is more common, so be sure you’re clear in the intent surrounding the phrase.

Other Ways to Say No Love Lost

  • Mutual animosity
  • Mutual dislike
  • Bad blood
  • Ill feelings
  • Hostility

No Love Lost Examples in a Sentence

No Love Lost Idiom Origin Meaning 1
  • After the heated argument, no love was lost between the two coworkers, and the workplace environment has never been the same.
  • The long-standing rivalry between the two football teams ensured no love was lost when they faced each other on the field.
  • My competitive children had no love lost between them while they both raced to finish the Easter heist we had planned.
  • The two political sides have no love lost, which is evident in the way they constantly tear each other down on national television.
  • Despite our many attempts to work together, there was no love lost between myself and another author, and we parted ways, leaving the project unfinished.

How Will You Use It?

I just love idioms like this, especially when they have two contrasting uses. I prefer to use it in a positive light over a negative meaning, showing how there’s mutual love and respect between two or more people. But feel free to use it any way you’d like!

Enjoyed reading about this phrase? Check out some others we covered:

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