dear1 [ dır ] adjective ***
▸ 1 at beginning of letter
▸ 2 loved/liked very much
▸ 3 expensive
▸ 4 used for speaking to someone
▸ 5 nice
1. ) Dear used in front of someone's name at the beginning of a letter to them:
Dear Diana, I hope you're feeling better now.
a ) Dear Sir/Sirs/Madam used at the beginning of a very formal letter, for example, to a company or to someone you have never met:
Dear Sirs, I am writing to complain about your telephone helpline.
2. ) loved or liked very much:
a dear friend: She is a very dear friend of mine.
dear to someone: You are both very dear to me.
3. ) not usually before noun OLD-FASHIONED expensive
4. ) BRITISH OLD-FASHIONED used for speaking to someone in a friendly way or in a way that shows that you think you are better or more important than them
5. ) nice. People who use this word usually do not sound sincere:
dear little/sweet/old etc.: Raymond is a dear sweet man!
be dear to someone's heart FORMAL
if something is dear to someone's heart, they are very interested in it and care a lot about it:
Education is a subject that is very dear to the President's heart.
dear God SPOKEN
used for expressing strong emotion, especially anger or shock:
Dear God, what is the matter now?
for dear life INFORMAL
using all your strength, speed, or determination in order to avoid danger or serious trouble:
He clung on to the edge of the cliff for dear life.
dear 2 [ dır ] noun count **
1. ) someone who is nice, generous, and helpful to others:
be a dear and do something: Be a dear and go get my glasses for me, will you?
2. ) SPOKEN used for talking to someone you love or are friendly with:
Have you had a nice day, dear?
a ) used for talking in a friendly way to someone whose name you do not know:
Be careful on those steps, dear.
dear 3 [ dır ] interjection **
used when you are upset, disappointed, annoyed, worried, or surprised about something bad that has happened or something wrong that you have done:
oh dear: Oh dear, I'm afraid I've spilled your coffee.
dear 4 [ dır ] adverb
cost someone dear BRITISH
to cause a lot of problems for someone or make them lose a lot of money

Usage of the words and phrases in modern English. 2013.

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  • Dear — (d[=e]r), a. [Compar. {Dearer} (d[=e]r [ e]r); superl. {Dearest} (d[=e]r [e^]st).] [OE. dere, deore, AS. de[ o]re; akin to OS. diuri, D. duur, OHG. tiuri, G. theuer, teuer, Icel. d[=y]rr, Dan. & Sw. dyr. Cf. {Darling}, {Dearth}.] 1. Bearing a… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • dear — [dɪə ǁ dɪr] adjective 1. especially BrE costing a lot of money; = EXPENSIVE: • I could never afford a house around here they re far too dear. 2. FINANCE BANKING if mo …   Financial and business terms

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  • dear — [dir] adj. [ME dere < OE deore, precious, costly, beloved, akin to Du duur, Ger teuer] 1. much loved; beloved 2. much valued; highly thought of; esteemed: used with a title or name as a polite form of address, as in writing letters [Dear Sir]… …   English World dictionary

  • Dear — Dear, n. A dear one; lover; sweetheart. [1913 Webster] That kiss I carried from thee, dear. Shak. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

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