Darling is a term of endearment that is used to describe or address a person, animal or inanimate object that may be adored or loved.
Darling as a noun means a person who is very close to another and is loved. So for example, Darling can be used as a nickname for a spouse, children, and even pets. If the speaker loves or adores these things, they can call them darling.
The term can also mean a person that is a favorite among others or is greatly liked. For example, “Megan was the darling of the party tonight.” This would mean that Megan was popular at the party and she was a favorite among the crowd.
Darling as an adjective can be used to describe something that one loves. So, if someone says “Samantha is my darling child”, this would mean that the speaker loves Samantha very much and adores her.
The term can also be informally used to mean, charming, amusing or adorable. “He is a darling baby”, would generally refer to the baby as being adorable or cute. While, “That is a charming hat”, refers to using the term to describe the hat as funny or amusing.
The term when used as a noun can often be shortened to ‘Darlin’, which would mean the same thing. However, this term is considered as a slang of the term darling.