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.
Now, my dears,” she said, “I want to have a talk with you all.
These dears are not afraid, and I shall have such fun with them as they grow up.
But, dears, I cannot tell you this, for it was not to be so.
"Hush, dears," said Mrs. Honeychurch, who found it impossible to remain shocked.
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.
Yes, dears, I am a cousin, and I think you'll find me a faithful one.
Will you come about four o'clock, or even earlier, my dears?
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.