Origin of dear

1
before 900; Middle English dere, Old English dēore; cognate with Old High German tiuri, Old Norse dȳrr
Related formsdear·ly, adverbdear·ness, noun

Synonyms for dear

1. darling, cherished. 5. See expensive.

dear

2

or dere

[deer]

adjective, dear·er, dear·est. Archaic.

hard; grievous.

Origin of dear

2
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


Examples from the Web for dearer

Historical Examples of dearer

  • The memory of you will be dearer to me than comfort from all else.

    Night and Morning, Complete

    Edward Bulwer-Lytton

  • But I discharge you of it; at least, while I have the happiness of nearer and dearer relations.

    Clarissa, Volume 2 (of 9)

    Samuel Richardson

  • She could have kissed her face in the glass, it was so like that other dearer one.

    Tiverton Tales

    Alice Brown

  • What rendered him yet dearer to us, was that there was enmity between him and Mrs. Mitchell.

  • Steenie's unselfish solitude of soul made him every day dearer to her.

    Heather and Snow

    George MacDonald


British Dictionary definitions for dearer

dear

adjective

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
  1. highly priced
  2. charging high prices
appealing or prettywhat a dear little ring!
for dear life urgently or with extreme vigour or desperation

interjection

used in exclamations of surprise or dismay, such as Oh dear! and dear me!

noun

(often used in direct address) someone regarded with affection and tenderness; darling

adverb

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

Word Origin and History for dearer

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

Idioms and Phrases with dearer

dear

In addition to the idiom beginning with dear

  • dear me

also see:

  • 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.