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Webster 1913 Edition


Dear

Dear

(dēr)
,
Adj.
[
Com
par.
Dearer
(dēr′ẽr)
;
sup
erl.
Dearest
(dēr′ĕst)
.]
[OE.
dere
,
deore
, AS.
deóre
; akin to OS.
diuri
, D.
duur
, OHG.
tiuri
, G.
theuer
,
teuer
, Icel.
dȳrr
, Dan. & Sw.
dyr
. Cf.
Darling
,
Dearth
.]
1.
Bearing a high price; high-priced; costly; expensive.
The cheapest of us is ten groats too
dear
.
Shakespeare
2.
Marked by scarcity or dearth, and exorbitance of price;
as, a
dear
year
.
3.
Highly valued; greatly beloved; cherished; precious.
“Hear me, dear lady.”
Shak.
Neither count I my life
dear
unto myself.
Acts xx. 24.
And the last joy was
dearer
than the rest.
Pope.
Dear
as remember’d kisses after death.
Tennyson.
4.
Hence, close to the heart; heartfelt; present in mind; engaging the attention.
(a)
Of agreeable things and interests.
[I'll] leave you to attend him: some
dear
cause
Will in concealment wrap me up awhile.
Shakespeare
(b)
Of disagreeable things and antipathies.
In our
dear
peril.
Shakespeare
Would I had met my
dearest
foe in heaven
Or ever I had seen that day.
Shakespeare

Dear

,
Noun.
A dear one; lover; sweetheart.
That kiss I carried from thee,
dear
.
Shakespeare

Dear

,
adv.
Dearly; at a high price.
If thou attempt it, it will cost thee
dear
.
Shakespeare

Dear

,
Verb.
T.
To endear.
[Obs.]
Shelton.

Webster 1828 Edition


Dear

DEAR

, a.

Definition 2021


dear

dear

English

Adjective

dear (comparative dearer, superlative dearest)

  1. Loved; lovable.
    • 1908, W[illiam] B[lair] M[orton] Ferguson, Zollenstein, New York, N.Y.: D. Appleton & Company, OCLC 29686887 , chapter IV:
      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.
  2. Loving, affectionate, heartfelt
    Such dear embrace tenderly comforts even in this dear sorrow.
  3. Precious to or greatly valued by someone.
    The dearer the giver, the dearer the trinket he brings!
  4. High in price; expensive.
    The dearer the jewel, the greater the love expressed.
    • 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.
  5. 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: [].
  6. 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!
    • 1918, W. B. Maxwell, chapter 7, in The Mirror and the Lamp:
      “A very welcome, kind, useful present, that means to the parish. By the way, Hopkins, let this go no further. We don't want the tale running round that a rich person has arrived. Churchill, my dear fellow, we have such greedy sharks, and wolves in lamb's clothing. []
  7. 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!
  8. (obsolete) Noble.
Derived terms
Translations

Noun

dear (plural dears)

  1. A very kind, loving person.
    My cousin is such a dear, always drawing me pictures.
  2. A beloved person
Synonyms
Derived terms
Translations

Verb

dear (third-person singular simple present dears, present participle dearing, simple past and past participle deared)

  1. (obsolete) To endear.
    (Can we find and add a quotation of Shelton to this entry?)

Adverb

dear (comparative more dear, superlative most dear)

  1. dearly; at a high price
    • Shakespeare
      If thou attempt it, it will cost thee dear.

Etymology 2

Middle English dere, from Old English dēor, from Proto-Germanic *deuzaz. Cognate with the above

Adjective

dear (comparative more dear, superlative most dear)

  1. Severe(ly affected), sore.
  2. (obsolete) Fierce.
    The Christens found the heathens dear, as the lion doth the bear.
Translations
References

Statistics

Most common English words before 1923: friend · herself · year · #295: dear · high · above · received

Anagrams


Irish

Pronunciation

  • IPA(key): [dʲaɾˠ]

Verb

dear (present analytic dearann, future analytic dearfaidh, verbal noun dearadh, past participle deartha)

  1. To draw (design).

Conjugation

Mutation

Irish mutation
Radical Lenition Eclipsis
dear dhear ndear
Note: Some of these forms may be hypothetical. Not every
possible mutated form of every word actually occurs.