American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition
- adj. Loved and cherished: my dearest friend.
- adj. Greatly valued; precious: lost everything dear to them.
- adj. Highly esteemed or regarded. Used in direct address, especially in salutations: Dear Lee Dawson.
- adj. High-priced; expensive.
- adj. Charging high prices.
- adj. Earnest; ardent: "This good man was a dear lover and constant practicer of angling” ( Izaak Walton).
- adj. Obsolete Noble; worthy.
- adj. Heartfelt: It is my dearest wish.
- n. One that is greatly loved.
- n. An endearing, lovable, or kind person.
- adv. With fondness; affectionately.
- adv. At a high cost: sold their wares dear.
- interj. Used as a polite exclamation, chiefly of surprise or distress: oh dear; dear me.
- adj. Severe; grievous; sore: our dearest need.
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- Precious; of great value; highly esteemed or valued.
- Costly; high in price; expensive, either absolutely, or as compared with the cost of other similar things, or of the same thing at other times or places: opposed to cheap.
- Characterized by high prices in consequence of scarcity or dearth: as, a dear season.
- Charging high prices: as, a dear tailor.
- Held in tender affection or esteem; loved; beloved: as, a dear child; a dear friend [In this sense much used in the introductory address of letters between persons on terms of affection or of polite intercourse: as, dear Lucy; dear Doctor; dear Sir.]
- Intense; deep; keen; being of a high degree.
- Coming from the heart; heartfelt; earnest; passionate.
- Dangerous; deadly.
- [Obsolete or archaic in senses , and 8.]
- n. A darling: a word denoting tender affection or endearment, most commonly used in direct address: as, my dear.
- Dearly; very tenderly.
- At a dear rate; at a high price.
- An exclamation indicating surprise, pity, or other emotion: used absolutely or in connection with oh or me: as, oh dear ! I am so tired; dear me ! where have you been?
- To make dear; endear.
- n. An obsolete spelling of deer.
- adj. Loved; lovable.
- adj. Loving, affectionate, heartfelt
- adj. Precious to or greatly valued by someone.
- adj. High in price; expensive.
- adj. A formal way to start (possibly after my) addressing somebody at the beginning of a letter, memo etc.
- adj. A formal way to start (often after my) addressing somebody one likes or regards kindly.
- adj. An ironic way to start (often after my) addressing an inferior.
- adj. obsolete noble
- n. A very kind, loving person.
- n. A beloved person
- v. obsolete To endear.
- adj. Severe(ly affected), sore
GNU Webster's 1913
- adj. Bearing a high price; high-priced; costly; expensive.
- adj. Marked by scarcity or dearth, and exorbitance of price.
- adj. Highly valued; greatly beloved; cherished; precious.
- adj. Hence, close to the heart; heartfelt; present in mind; engaging the attention.
- adj. Of agreeable things and interests.
- adj. Of disagreeable things and antipathies.
- n. A dear one; lover; sweetheart.
- adv. Dearly; at a high price.
- v. obsolete To endear.
- adv. with affection
- adj. having a high price
- n. a beloved person; used as terms of endearment
- n. a sweet innocent mild-mannered person (especially a child)
- adj. dearly loved
- adj. with or in a close or intimate relationship
- adv. at a great cost
- adj. earnest.
- Middle English dere, from Old English dēor. Cognate with the above (Wiktionary)
- Middle English dere, from Old English dēore.Middle English dere, from Old English dēor. (American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
“Yes," replied Dexie, "they are rather dear, _dear shad_," and she looked intently at her plate, well knowing how Plaisted was glaring at her.”
“Oh, I entreat you -- I implore you, my dear, _dear_ --”
“The man cried out: "Mother dear -- _Mother dear_!”
“And now, dear, _dear_ Mademoiselle de Charrebourg, I come into your presence, to learn how it fares with you.”
“_May you never regret it, my dear, my dear_," said the lover on the stage.”
“Amelia addressed him now, with an effect of angry mockery, as my dear old Frank Bronson; but that (without the mockery) was how the Amberson family almost always spoke of him: dear old Frank Bronson.”
“My dear, _dear_ friends!" he said, and stretched out both hands towards the company, as if to clasp them all to his heart.”
“She often called Nels "my dear" with a peculiar inflection on the _dear_ and an upward lilt of tone.”
“That was the line, the very sharp and impassable line she drew between her "dear, _dear_ Ellen", her "dearest Nel", and her sisters, Anne and Emily.”
“She had hurt his feelings by saying she wished she didn't have to live with him, and she had insulted his dear, dear, _dear_ picture!”
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