dear

[[t]dɪ͟ə(r)[/t]]
♦♦♦
dearer, dearest, dears
1) ADJ: ADJ n You use dear to describe someone or something that you feel affection for.

Mrs Cavendish is a dear friend of mine...

At last I am back at my dear little desk.

2) ADJ-GRADED: v-link ADJ to n If something is dear to you or dear to your heart, you care deeply about it.

His family life was very dear to him...

This is a subject very dear to the hearts of academics up and down the country.

3) ADJ: ADJ n (feelings) You use dear in expressions such as `my dear fellow', `dear girl', or `my dear Richard' when you are addressing someone whom you know and are fond of. You can also use expressions like this in a rude way to indicate that you think you are superior to the person you are addressing. [BRIT]

Of course, Toby, my dear fellow, of course...

Take as long as you like, dear boy.

4) ADJ: ADJ n Dear is written at the beginning of a letter, followed by the name or title of the person you are writing to.

Dear Peter, I have been thinking about you so much during the past few days...

5) CONVENTION In British English, you begin formal letters with `Dear sir' or `Dear madam'. In American English, you begin them with `Sir' or `Madam'. [WRITTEN]

`Dear sir,' she began.

6) N-VOC (feelings) You can call someone dear as a sign of affection.

You're a lot like me, dear...

`Good night, my dears,' she called to us as we closed her door behind us.

7) EXCLAM (feelings) You can use dear in expressions such as `oh dear', `dear me', and `dear, dear' when you are sad, disappointed, or surprised about something.

`Oh dear, oh dear.' McKinnon sighed. `You, too.'...

Outside, Bruce glanced at his watch: `Dear me, nearly one o'clock.'

8) N-COUNT You can call someone a dear when you are fond of them and think that they are nice.

He's such a dear.

Syn:
9) ADJ-GRADED: usu v-link ADJ (disapproval) If you say that something is dear, you mean that it costs a lot of money, usually more than you can afford or more than you think it should cost. [mainly BRIT, INFORMAL]

It's getting dearer now but it used to be pretty reasonable to buy...

They're too dear.

Syn:
Ant:
10) PHRASE: V inflects If something that someone does costs them dear, they suffer a lot as a result of it.

Such complacency is costing the company dear.


English dictionary. 2008.

Synonyms:

Look at other dictionaries:

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  • dear — dear·born; dear·ly; dear·ness; en·dear; en·dear·ment; un·dear; dear; dear·ie; en·dear·ing·ly; en·dear·ing·ness; …   English syllables

  • 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

  • Dear — as part of a formal greeting at the beginning of a letter, was introduced in the 15c in various formulas. Dear Sir and Dear Madam have become the most formal types, with Dear Mr Jones and Dear Mrs/Miss/Ms Jones serving as more socially neutral… …   Modern English usage

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  • Dear M.F. — Dear M.F. EP by Big Sugar Released 1995 Genre Blu …   Wikipedia

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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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