Language: Old English
Origin: deore


3 adjective
dear3 S2 W2 comparative dearer, superlative dearest


used before someone's name or title to begin a letter:
Dear Sir or Madam, ...
Dear Mrs. Wilson, ...
Dear Meg, ...
2 British English expensive [≠ cheap]:
Cars are 59% dearer in Britain than in Europe.
3 formal a dear friend or relative is very important to you and you love them a lot:
Mark became a dear friend.
be dear to somebody
His sister was very dear to him.

hold something dear

to think that something is very important:
Household economy was something my mother held very dear.

dear old...

British English spoken used to describe someone or something in a way that shows your love or liking of them [= good old]:
Here we are, back in dear old Manchester!

for dear life

written if you run, fight, hold on etc for dear life, you do it as fast or as well as you can because you are afraid:
She grasped the side of the boat and hung on for dear life.

the dear departed

British English literary a person you love who has died

Dictionary results for "dear"
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