dear

1 [deer]
adjective, dearer, dearest.
1.
beloved or loved: a dear friend.
2.
(used in the salutation of a letter as an expression of affection or respect or as a conventional greeting): Dear Sir.
3.
precious in one's regard; cherished: our dearest possessions.
4.
heartfelt; earnest: one's dearest wish.
5.
high-priced; expensive: The silk dress was too dear.
6.
charging high prices: That shop is too dear for my budget.
7.
excessive; high: a dear price to pay for one's independence.
8.
Obsolete. difficult to get; scarce.
9.
Obsolete. worthy; honorable.
noun
10.
a person who is good, kind, or generous: You're a dear to help me with the work.
11.
a beloved one.
12.
(sometimes initial capital letter) an affectionate or familiar term of address, as to a child or romantic partner (sometimes offensive when used to a stranger, subordinate, etc.)
adverb
13.
dearly; fondly.
14.
at a high price: That painting cost me dear.
interjection
15.
(used as an exclamation of surprise, distress, etc.): Oh dear, what a disappointment! Dear me! What's all that noise?

Origin:
before 900; Middle English dere, Old English dēore; cognate with Old High German tiuri, Old Norse dȳrr

dearly, adverb
dearness, noun


1. darling, cherished. 5. See expensive.
Dictionary.com Unabridged

dear

2 [deer]
adjective, dearer, dearest. Archaic.
hard; grievous.
Also, dere.


Origin:
before 1000; Middle English dere, Old English dēor brave, bold, severe

Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
Cite This Source Link To dear
Collins
World English Dictionary
dear (dɪə)
 
adj (foll by to)
1.  beloved; precious
2.  used in conventional forms of address preceding a title or name, as in Dear Sir or my dear Mr Smith
3.  important; close: a wish dear to her heart
4.  a.  highly priced
 b.  charging high prices
5.  appealing or pretty: what a dear little ring!
6.  for dear life urgently or with extreme vigour or desperation
 
interj
7.  used in exclamations of surprise or dismay, such as Oh dear! and dear me!
 
n
8.  (often used in direct address) someone regarded with affection and tenderness; darling
 
adv
9.  dearly: his errors have cost him dear
 
[Old English dēore; related to Old Norse dӯrr]
 
'dearness
 
n

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
Cite This Source
Etymonline
Word Origin & History

dear
O.E. deore "precious, valuable, costly, loved," from W.Gmc. *deurjaz, ultimate origin unknown. Used interjectorily since 1690s. As an introductory word to letters, it is attested from mid-15c.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source
American Heritage
Idioms & Phrases

dear

In addition to the idiom beginning with dear, also see for dear life; nearest and dearest.

The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer.
Copyright © 1997. Published by Houghton Mifflin.
Cite This Source
Example sentences
We have dear and close friends who regularly invite us for dinner.
Please, dear college presidents, stop sending for the police.
The price of admission-free for all-is surely near and dear to any student's
  heart.
It is all so bleak that you feel the urge to grab a bottle of vodka and cling
  to it for dear life.
Copyright © 2014 Dictionary.com, LLC. All rights reserved.
  • Please Login or Sign Up to use the Recent Searches feature
FAVORITES
RECENT

;