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dear1

[deer] /dɪər/
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 of dear1
900
before 900; Middle English dere, Old English dēore; cognate with Old High German tiuri, Old Norse dȳrr
Related forms
dearly, adverb
dearness, noun
Synonyms
1. darling, cherished. 5. See expensive.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2016.
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Examples from the Web for dears
Historical Examples
  • Oh, yes, I'll come and play at ball with you if you like, my dears.

  • They are dears, all three of them; and we shall miss them horribly to-morrow.

    The Mistress of Shenstone Florence L. Barclay
  • Now, my dears,” she said, “I want to have a talk with you all.

    Betty Vivian L. T. Meade
  • These dears are not afraid, and I shall have such fun with them as they grow up.

    Aunt Jo's Scrap-Bag VI Louisa M. Alcott
  • But, dears, I cannot tell you this, for it was not to be so.

    A Christmas Child Mrs. Molesworth
  • "Hush, dears," said Mrs. Honeychurch, who found it impossible to remain shocked.

    A Room With A View E. M. Forster
  • I too—yes, yes, my dears—I too breakfast with you this morning.

  • I believe it will astonish you, too, my dears, when you hear it.

    The Road to Oz L. Frank Baum
  • Yes, dears, I am a cousin, and I think you'll find me a faithful one.

    The Palace in the Garden Mary Louisa Molesworth
  • Will you come about four o'clock, or even earlier, my dears?

    Peterkin Mary Louisa Molesworth
British Dictionary definitions for dears

dear

/dɪə/
adjective
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.
(postpositive) foll by to. important; close: a wish dear to her heart
4.
  1. highly priced
  2. charging high prices
5.
appealing or pretty: what a dear little ring!
6.
for dear life, urgently or with extreme vigour or desperation
interjection
7.
used in exclamations of surprise or dismay, such as Oh dear! and dear me!
noun
8.
(often used in direct address) someone regarded with affection and tenderness; darling
adverb
9.
dearly: his errors have cost him dear
Derived Forms
dearness, noun
Word Origin
Old English dēore; related to Old Norse dӯrr
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for dears

dear

adj.

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.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Idioms and Phrases with dears

dear

In addition to the idiom beginning with
dear
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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Word Value for dears

6
6
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