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- A very close friend or family member for whom a person has feelings of endearment, one of someone's close ones; sometimes: next of kin (for example on hospital admission form).
- 2020 June 5, Alyson Krueger, “The Agonizing Question: Is New York City Worth It Anymore?”, in New York Times:
- “Friends called around and sat on pillars outside the building and I talked to them out the window,” said Ms. Cunningham, who added that she kept in touch with loved ones over Zoom as well.
- (euphemistic) A recently deceased close friend or family member.
- 2003 March 29, Jessica Watson, “Laying to rest the days of his and hearse”, in Guardian (UK), retrieved 23 June 2008:
- Whereas once the main option was a traditional black hearse service, these days a "green funeral" with a cardboard coffin is just one of the alternative ways to send off a loved one.
- Often used in the plural to refer to the family of a deceased person.
very close friend or family member