- affection given in order to gain a reward
- love shown by someone in order to get what they want
- love given in order to get something from someone
- a show of love inspired by some selfish or greedy motive
- a show a love that stems from the hope of some gain
- insincere or superficial love motivated by selfish interest
- I had suspected all along that Jane’s affair with that man was just cupboard love. What she really liked about him was his big mansion and luxurious car.
- They children usually never pay much attention to the old man, though he tries to speak with them; but they show him a lot of cupboard love when he get some candies and chocolates for them.
- I believe its just cupboard love that holds them together. She loves the security he provides and he loves her great cooking.
- It’s cupboard love for sure between those two, but let’s hope it is good while it lasts.
- In a typical display of cupboard love, the child ran to her and jumped into her lap as soon as she brought out the toy she had got for him
- It’s cupboard love I know, but at least they will be fond of me for as long as I keep bringing them gifts.
This phrase originated in the mid 1700s. It derives from the way a cat shows superficial love for a person who feeds it, or for the cupboard that holds its food.