The term amor platonicus was coined as early as the 15th Century by Marsilio Ficino, as a synonym for "amor socraticus", referring to the affection between Socrates and his pupils. This type of love dictates a non-sexual relationship between an older member and younger member of the same gender.
The English term dates back as far as Sir William Davenant's Platonic Lovers (1636). It is derived from the concept in Plato's Symposium, of the love of the idea of good which lies at the root of all virtue and truth.
A simple example of platonic relationships is friendship between the opposite sexes.
- "Platonic Love is a fool's name for the affection between a disability and a frost." – Ambrose Bierce
- "I am convinced, and always was, that Platonic love is Platonic nonsense." – Samuel Richardson