dear (comparative dearer, superlative dearest)
- (generally dated) High in price; expensive.
- The dearer the jewel, the greater the love expressed.
- 1596-97, William Shakespeare, The Merchant Of Venice, Act IV Scene 1
- There's more depends on this than on the value.
- The dearest ring in Venice will I give you,
- And find it out by proclamation:
- Only for this, I pray you, pardon me.
- 1902, Briquettes as Fuel in Foreign Countries (report of the United States Bureau of Foreign Commerce):
- This water is sold for 50 cents per ton, which is not dear under the circumstances.
- 1966, The Beatles, When I'm Sixty-Four
- Every summer we can rent a cottage in the Isle of Wight, if it's not too dear.
- Loved; lovable.
- 1908, W[illiam] B[lair] M[orton] Ferguson, chapter IV, in Zollenstein, New York, N.Y.: D. Appleton & Company, OCLC 731476803 ↗:
- So this was my future home, I thought! […] Backed by towering hills, the but faintly discernible purple line of the French boundary off to the southwest, a sky of palest Gobelin flecked with fat, fleecy little clouds, it in truth looked a dear little city; the city of one's dreams.
- Loving, affectionate, heartfelt
- Such dear embrace tenderly comforts even in this dear sorrow.
- Precious to or greatly valued by someone.
- The dearer the giver, the dearer the trinket he brings!
- A formal way to start (possibly after my) addressing somebody at the beginning of a letter, memo etc.
- Dear Sir/Madam/Miss, please notice our offices will be closed during the following bank holidays: […].
- A formal way to start (often after my) addressing somebody one likes or regards kindly.
- My dear friend, I feel better as soon as you come sit beside my sickbed!
- An ironic way to start (often after my) addressing an inferior.
- My dear boy, if your grades don't pick up I won't bounce you on but over my knee!
- (obsolete) Noble.
- French: cher
- German: Lieber, Teuerer (always capitalized), sehr geehrter
- Portuguese: prezado, caro
- Russian: уважа́емый
- Spanish: estimado
- French: cher
- German: Lieber
- Portuguese: querido
- Russian: дорого́й
- Spanish: señor mío, señora mía, estimado, estimada
- Spanish: amigo mío, amiga mía
dear (plural dears)
- A very kind, loving person.
- My cousin is such a dear, always drawing me pictures.
- A beloved person.
- An affectionate, familiar term of address, such as used between husband and wife.
- Pass me the salt, would you dear?
- (kind loving person) darling
dear (dears, present participle dearing; past and past participle deared)
- (obsolete) To endear.
- dearly; at a high price
- c. 1603–1604, William Shakespeare, “The Tragedie of Othello, the Moore of Venice”, in Mr. William Shakespeares Comedies, Histories, & Tragedies: Published According to the True Originall Copies (First Folio), London: Printed by Isaac Iaggard, and Ed[ward] Blount, published 1623, OCLC 606515358 ↗, [Act V, scene ii]:
- If thou attempt it, it will cost thee dear.
- Indicating surprise, pity, or disapproval.
- Dear, dear! Whatever were they thinking?
- Severe, or severely affected; sore.
- (obsolete) Fierce.
- The Christens found the heathens dear, as the lion doth the bear.