endearment

Next time you cringe when a family member calls you by your childhood nickname in public, remember, Snoopy, it's just a term of endearment — meant to show affection, not make you miserably embarrassed.

When you break apart the word endearment, you probably recognize the word endear, a verb that means "to make admired or beloved." The suffix -ment can turn a verb into a noun, so endearment is something that shows affection or admiration, like calling someone "my love" instead of his or her name or playfully whacking your brother on the head when you walk by where he sits, doing his homework.

Definitions of endearment
1

n the act of showing affection

Type of:
benignity, kindness
a kind act

Sign up, it's free!

Whether you're a student, an educator, or a lifelong learner, Vocabulary.com can put you on the path to systematic vocabulary improvement.