\ ˈdir How to pronounce dear (audio) \

Definition of dear

 (Entry 1 of 5)

1 : highly valued : precious a dear friend Our friendship is very dear to me. ran for dear life often used in a salutation dear Sir
3 : high or exorbitant in price : expensive eggs are very dear just now
4 : heartfelt our dearest prayers
5 obsolete : noble

dear

adverb

Definition of dear (Entry 2 of 5)

1 : dearly sense 3 the effort cost them dear
2 : dearly sense 1 so dear I loved the man— William Shakespeare

dear

noun

Definition of dear (Entry 3 of 5)

1 : a loved one : sweetheart How was your day, dear?
2 : a lovable person Be a dear and get me a drink.

Definition of dear (Entry 4 of 5)

used especially to express annoyance or dismay Oh dear!

Definition of dear (Entry 5 of 5)

: severe, sore in our dear peril— William Shakespeare

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Other Words from dear

Adjective (1)

dearness noun

Synonyms & Antonyms for dear

Synonyms: Adjective (1)

Synonyms: Noun

Antonyms: Adjective (1)

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Examples of dear in a Sentence

Noun Be a dear and take this for me.

First Known Use of dear

Adjective (1)

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 5

Adverb

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Noun

13th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Interjection

1694, in the meaning defined above

Adjective (2)

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for dear

Adjective (1), Adverb, Noun, and Interjection

Middle English dere, from Old English dēore; akin to Old High German tiuri distinguished, costly

Adjective (2)

Middle English dere, from Old English dēor — see dear entry 1

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Time Traveler for dear

Time Traveler

The first known use of dear was before the 12th century

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Dictionary Entries Near dear

Dean Schedule

dear

Dearborn

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Statistics for dear

Cite this Entry

“Dear.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/dear. Accessed 20 Sep. 2021.

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More Definitions for dear

dear

adverb

English Language Learners Definition of dear (Entry 2 of 3)

: with love and respect

dear

noun

English Language Learners Definition of dear (Entry 3 of 3)

used to address someone you love
: a kind and helpful person

dear

interjection

English Language Learners Definition of dear (Entry 4 of 3)

used especially to express surprise, fear, or disappointment

dear

adjective
\ ˈdir How to pronounce dear (audio) \
dearer; dearest

Kids Definition of dear

 (Entry 1 of 3)

1 : greatly loved or cared about a dear friend
2 used as a form of address especially in letters Dear Sir
3 : having a high price Fuel is dear just now.
4 : deeply felt : earnest My dearest wish is to see you.

Other Words from dear

dearly adverb

dear

adverb

Kids Definition of dear (Entry 2 of 3)

: with love We held her dear.

dear

noun

Kids Definition of dear (Entry 3 of 3)

: a loved one : darling

More from Merriam-Webster on dear

Nglish: Translation of dear for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of dear for Arabic Speakers

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