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

Definition for dearest (2 of 2)

dear

2

or dere

[ deer ]
/ dɪər /

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 dearest

British Dictionary definitions for dearest

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 dearest

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 dearest

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.