[deer] /dɪər/
adjective, dearer, dearest.
beloved or loved:
"a dear friend."
(used in the salutation of a letter as an expression of affection or respect or as a conventional greeting):
"Dear Sir."
precious in one's regard; cherished:
"our dearest possessions."
heartfelt; earnest:
"one's dearest wish."
high-priced; expensive:
"The silk dress was too dear."
charging high prices:
"That shop is too dear for my budget."
excessive; high:
"a dear price to pay for one's independence."
Obsolete. difficult to get; scarce.
Obsolete. worthy; honorable.
a person who is good, kind, or generous:
"You're a dear to help me with the work."
a beloved one.
(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.)
dearly; fondly.
at a high price:
"That painting cost me dear."
(used as an exclamation of surprise, distress, etc.):
"Oh dear, what a disappointment! Dear me! What's all that noise?"
before 900; Middle English dere, Old English dēore; cognate with Old High German tiuri, Old Norse dȳrr
Related forms
dearly, adverb
dearness, noun
1. darling, cherished. 5. See expensive.
Example Sentences for dearly
He was well known and treasured in his hometown, and will be missed dearly.
Every state needs to take action to protect its citizens from something that is costing them dearly in every way.
Your wit, intellect and humor will be dearly missed.
It sounds as though these people realized they made a mistake and that he was dearly loved.
They're right to an extent, but the backside pays dearly for this action when your dog won't respond to this procedure.
Within the world of those who take play seriously, there are multiple camps, each with its own dearly held tenets.
Most people never make this critical shift, and it can cost them dearly.
The image of the one true friend, a soul mate rare to find but dearly beloved, has completely disappeared from our culture.
We make difficult decisions in a climate where libraries are forced to go without materials they dearly need and desire.
He will be dearly missed and a tough act for anyone to follow.
British Dictionary definitions for dearly
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
7.  used in exclamations of surprise or dismay, such as Oh dear! and dear me!
8.  (often used in direct address) someone regarded with affection and tenderness; darling
9.  dearly: his errors have cost him dear
[Old English dēore; related to Old Norse dӯrr]

dearly (ˈdɪəlɪ)
1.  very much: I would dearly like you to go
2.  affectionately
3.  at a great cost

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Word Origin and History for dearly
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
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