- 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?
Origin of dear1
SynonymsSee more synonyms on Thesaurus.com
- hard; grievous.
Origin of dear2
Examples from the Web for dearest
“Dearest ladies with families,” he begins, sitting in a suit in a well-decorated room.The Punk Behind Iran's Only Vampire Spaghetti Western-Style Love Story
November 21, 2014
Dearest love to you, every day, always, dearest potato-pipe.Leonard Bernstein Asked About Hemingway, So Martha Gellhorn Set the Record Straight
Leonard Bernstein, Martha Gellhorn
October 27, 2013
His subsequent marriages were primarily to form alliances with his nearest and dearest as well as with more remote followers.Mohammad Was Not a Womanizer, and Other Common Misconceptions About Islam Debunked
Olga M. Davidson
September 13, 2012
But nearest and dearest to his heart is his humanitarian work.Will.i.am of the Black Eyed Peas Sounds Off on Republicans at the DNC
September 6, 2012
“My dearest friend and my most trusted confidante to this day is Janice Ward,” Moceanu writes.11 Juiciest Bits from Dominique Moceanu’s Memoir, ‘Off Balance’
June 19, 2012
Moreover, I believe, dearest Eudora, that half your wrongs are in your own imagination.
And still, dearest Philothea, your heart speaks the same language.
"Dearest Philothea, I scarcely know his countenance," replied the maiden.
Yes, dearest Philothea; but not till she had first told me of her own marriage with Geta.
With the Union my best and dearest earthly hopes are entwined.
- beloved; precious
- used in conventional forms of address preceding a title or name, as in Dear Sir or my dear Mr Smith
- (postpositive foll by to) important; closea wish dear to her heart
- highly priced
- charging high prices
- appealing or prettywhat a dear little ring!
- for dear life urgently or with extreme vigour or desperation
- used in exclamations of surprise or dismay, such as Oh dear! and dear me!
- (often used in direct address) someone regarded with affection and tenderness; darling
- dearlyhis errors have cost him dear
Word Origin and History for dearest
Old English deore "precious, valuable, costly, loved, beloved," from Proto-Germanic *deurjaz (cf. Old Saxon diuri, Old Norse dyrr, Old Frisian diore, Middle Dutch dure, Dutch duur, Old High German tiuri, German teuer), ultimate origin unknown. Used interjectorily since 1690s. As a polite introductory word to letters, it is attested from mid-15c. As a noun, from late 14c., perhaps short for dear one, etc.