Definition of dear in English:

dear

Line breaks: dear
Pronunciation: /dɪə
 
/

adjective

noun

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adverb

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  • 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!

Phrases

for dear life

see life.

Derivatives

dearness

noun
More 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.

Origin

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

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