carry a torch for

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To harbor feelings of love despite not being in a relationship; generally unrequited or after a relationship has ended, and sometimes implying secret feelings. There is the implication of keeping hope alive.

Etymology:

  • From the metaphor of a burning flame, to keep a fire burning.
  • The association of a torch with love may date to the Greek and Roman tradition of a wedding torch, lit in the bride’s hearth on her wedding night, then used to light the hearth in her new home. Such a torch is associated with the Greek god of marriage Hymenaios.
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Though we haven’t spoken since that night, I still carry a torch for her..

Submitted on September 01, 2009

Additional definitions for 'carry a torch for':

carry a torch forRemain feel the pain of unreciprocated love for.
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"carry a torch for." Phrases.com. STANDS4 LLC, 2019. Web. 18 Nov. 2019. <https://www.phrases.com/phrase/carry-a-torch-for_2769>.

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