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?
- dearly, adverb
- dearness, noun
Other definitions for dear (2 of 2)
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023
How to use dear in a sentence
We can still value the fact that, for many years, this person was a dear friend.Politics and conspiracy theories are fracturing relationships. Here’s how to grieve those broken bonds. | Jeff Schrum | February 11, 2021 | Washington Post
Finding the right college you can afford, dear reader, is within your grasp.Paying for College Can Be Overwhelming. Here's What You Need to Know to Find an Affordable Option | Sean Gregory | February 5, 2021 | Time
It is with great sadness that we announce the death of our dear father, Captain Sir Tom Moore.Captain Tom Moore, Fundraising Hero of Britain's COVID-19 Lockdown, Dies at 100 | Billy Perrigo | February 2, 2021 | Time
JoAnn Fields watched the funerals of two dear friends and leaders in the Filipino community in the last week of January.Filipino Residents Have Been Hit Hard by COVID – But No One Knows Just How Hard | Maya Srikrishnan | February 1, 2021 | Voice of San Diego
Many minutes are spent explaining to dear Aunt Helen how to unmute, telling Uncle Bob that we can't see his head, or asking a cousin to move the yapping puppy farther from the microphone.Miss Manners: Save me from these interminable video ‘parties’ | Judith Martin, Nicholas Martin, Jacobina Martin | February 1, 2021 | Washington Post
If it should be said these are general remarks, let it be remembered that they are the dear-bought, result of experience.Caleb Williams | William Godwin
For a flea, my dear-gentlemen may bring that theirselves; but a b——-, that's a stationary, and born of a bed.Evan Harrington, Complete | George Meredith
So they decided to take it in to the dear-mother and have her explain it to them.In Story-land | Elizabeth Harrison
But, hark ye, dear-my-soul, make thou no haste; there is room for all.Christmas Tales and Christmas Verse | Eugene Field
The singer came rushing down a branch, bristled up, blustering, and calling "dear-r-r-r!"A Bird-Lover in the West | Olive Thorne Miller
British Dictionary definitions for dear
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; close: a wish dear to her heart
charging high prices
appealing or pretty: what 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
dearly: his errors have cost him dear
- dearness, noun
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
Other 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.