[ deer ]
/ dɪər /
adjective, dear·er, dear·est.
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.)
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
before 900; Middle English dere, Old English dēore; cognate with Old High German tiuri, Old Norse dȳrr
Related formsdear·ly, adverbdear·ness, noun
Definition for dear (2 of 2)
[ deer ]
/ dɪər /
adjective, dear·er, dear·est. Archaic.
Origin of dear2
before 1000; Middle English dere, Old English dēor brave, bold, severe
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019
British Dictionary definitions for dear
/ (dɪə) /
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
Derived Formsdearness, noun
Word Origin for dear
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
Idioms and Phrases with dear
In addition to the idiom beginning with dear
- dear me
- for dear life
- nearest and dearest
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.