Definition of dearly

1 : with affection : fondly
2 : heartily, earnestly prayed so dearly for peace
3 : at a high rate or price paid dearly for the error

Examples of dearly in a Sentence

I would dearly love to see them again. He dearly wanted to believe that it was true.

Recent Examples on the Web

For Berta Kondorura's family, the funeral was a chance to showcase its standing in the community — and how much the family cared for its dearly departed. Cleve R. Wootson Jr., Washington Post, "A man was crushed to death beneath his mother’s coffin," 18 June 2018 Taking in every breath, every sight, and sound and holding it dearly. Taylor Mead, House Beautiful, "Joanna Gaines’s New Year’s Resolution Is Something Everyone Should Adopt This Year," 3 Jan. 2019 One result of the therapy is that Annie meets Joan (Ann Dowd), a fellow-mourner, warm and courteous, who teaches her how to contact the dearly departed. Anthony Lane, The New Yorker, "“Hereditary” Delivers a New Kind of Horror," 7 June 2018 Most of the non-dead main characters will be making a return for season 2 (and even one of the dearly departed might return). Darren Orf, Popular Mechanics, "Everything We Know So Far About 'Star Trek: Discovery' Season 2," 5 Sep. 2018 Bridget Ann Perry, 70 of Scotland, CT, dearly loved mother and adored grandmother, passed away peacefully at home surrounded by her loving family on July 7, 2018., "Bridget Ann Perry," 12 July 2018 He was loved dearly by his friends and family and was always able to find laughter and joy even in the most serious situations., "Deaths in Central Florida: 6/19," 19 June 2018 Our weekends are dedicated to football, whilst our weekdays are spent keeping up to date with the latest on the club we so dearly love., "5 of the Biggest Super Fans in World Football," 26 Apr. 2018 Evelyn was a kind, caring, loving, and devoted wife, mother, sister, grandmother, and friend and she will be dearly missed., "Evelyn Ruth Chapman," 14 July 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'dearly.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of dearly

13th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Statistics for dearly

Last Updated

16 Mar 2019

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Time Traveler for dearly

The first known use of dearly was in the 13th century

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English Language Learners Definition of dearly

: very much
: in a way that is difficult or severe

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More from Merriam-Webster on dearly

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with dearly

Spanish Central: Translation of dearly

Nglish: Translation of dearly for Spanish Speakers

Comments on dearly

What made you want to look up dearly? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


to reflect, repel, echo, or resound

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