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dear

Line breaks: dear
Pronunciation: /dɪə
 
/

Definition of dear in English:

adjective

1Regarded with deep affection: a dear friend he is very dear to me
More example sentences
  • She joined a whole secret league of the hunters after being separated from a friend very dear to her.
  • She went quietly about her daily life and was held in fond regard by her dear friends.
  • Let the honor of your friend be as dear to you as your own (Ethics of the Fathers 2: 15).
Synonyms
beloved, loved, much loved, darling, adored, cherished, precious;
close, intimate, confidential, bosom, boon, favourite, best
precious, treasured, valued, prized, cherished, special, favourite, favoured
1.1Used in speech as a polite or affectionate form of address: Martin, my dear fellow
More example sentences
  • An excellent idea, dear fellow, to not have a television.
  • Charles, my dear fellow, you've no idea how wonderful that made me feel.
  • I congratulate you, my dear fellow, I really do.
1.2Used in the polite form of address at the start of a letter.
Example sentences
  • Dear Friend: First, I want to tip my hat to you.
  • "Dear friends world over, Nepal is closed for the time being.
  • Dear BI Career Consultants: How can we measure the true impact of technology on learning and student success?
1.3Endearing; sweet: a dear little puppy
More example sentences
  • It was quite a pleasant excursion for the dear little thing.
  • It would seem that Sammy's dear little darling sister has struck again.
  • But Jimmy Grimble smells like a sweet and innocuous film from the get-go, thus we know someone's going to get their comeuppance, and it isn't dear little Jimmy.
Synonyms
endearing, adorable, lovable, appealing, engaging, charming, enchanting, captivating, winsome, winning, attractive, lovely, nice, pleasant, delightful, angelic, sweet, darling;
North American cunning;
Italian & Spanishsimpatico;
Frenchsympathique;
Germansympatisch
informal adorbs
dated taking
2chiefly British Expensive: five pounds—that’s a bit dear!
More example sentences
  • I don't use the blank rune any longer, but before the Age of the Internet when information was dear and costly, I used it and didn't have a problem with it.
  • A Philadelphia customer admired the company's cut glass but hesitated to buy any because it was ‘most extravagantly dear.’
  • She was forced to pay the £4 taxi fare from her benefits, which soon became too dear.
Synonyms
immoderate, extravagant, lavish, valuable;
informal pricey, steep, stiff

noun

Back to top  
1Used as an affectionate or friendly form of address: don’t you worry, dear
More example sentences
  • On hearing our lament for a country gone frankly insane, she simply suggested, ‘Well, dears, why don't you move here?
  • Never let it be said that I don't have high expectations of you, my dears.
  • Make sure you don't spoil your dinner, dears.
Synonyms
darling, dearest, love, beloved, loved one, sweetheart, sweet, precious, treasure
informal sweetie, sugar, honey, baby, babe, pet, sunshine, poppet
archaic sweeting
1.1A sweet or endearing person: Harry’s a dear
More example sentences
  • But Sara didn't know how she could cheer the little dear's father.
  • Sanjuro, I am sure you are much more mature than my own son, so could you be a good sweet dear and pass me that bundt cake pan?
  • The poor old dear was probably out of her mind with worry by now.
Synonyms
lovable person, adorable person, endearing person;
darling, sweetheart, pet, angel, gem, treasure
informal star

adverb

chiefly British Back to top  
At a high cost: they buy property cheaply and sell dear
More example sentences
  • Motoring organisations have been worried by new legislation, which is awaiting its second reading in the European Parliament, that could cost motorists dear.
  • Fraud Squad officers from North Yorkshire police say they have encountered reports of several ‘scams’ which have cost local people dear.
  • But the combination of political spin and media hype cost investors dear.
Synonyms
at a high price, at an excessive price, at an exorbitant price, at high cost, at great cost

exclamation

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Used in expressions of surprise, dismay, or sympathy: oh dear, I’ve upset you
More example sentences
  • A few miles further on they will drive calmly past the carnage they have caused, and remark primly to each other ‘Oh dear!’
  • If you're a card-holder then you might be thinking ‘Oh dear!’
  • Yes - the number had been disconnected - oh dear!

Origin

Old English dēore, of Germanic origin; related to Dutch dier 'beloved', also to Dutch duur and German teuer 'expensive'.

More
  • Old English dēore is Germanic in origin and related to Dutch dier ‘beloved’, also to Dutch duur and German teuer ‘expensive’, showing that the word has long had the two senses it still has. Darling (Old English) was a pet form of ‘dear’, while dearth (Middle English) started out as a time when things were expensive through scarcity.

Phrases

for dear life

1
see life.

Derivatives

dearness

1
noun
Example sentences
  • The dearness of provisions, the scarcity of fuel, and above all the failure of spinning work for the women and children have put it almost out of the power of the village poor to live by their industry.
  • The proportion of the dearness which the increased quantity of money brings about in the State will depend on the turn which this money will impart to consumption and circulation.
  • This development forced contemporary observers into positing an economic link between the perceived dearness of commodities in parts of Europe and the massive dissemination of New World gold and silver.

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Word of the day terpsichorean
Pronunciation: ˌtəːpsɪkəˈriːən
adjective
relating to dancing