Definition of dear adjective from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary



    BrE BrE//dɪə(r)//
    ; NAmE NAmE//dɪr//
    (dearer, dearest)
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  1. 1  loved by or important to somebody He's one of my dearest friends. dear to somebody Her daughter is very dear to her. They lost everything that was dear to them.
  2. 2  Dear used at the beginning of a letter before the name or title of the person that you are writing to Dear Sir or Madam Dear Mrs Jones
  3. 3[not usually before noun] (British English) expensive; costing a lot of money Everything's so dear now, isn't it?
  4. opposite cheap
    Word OriginOld English dēore, of Germanic origin; related to Dutch dier ‘beloved’, also to Dutch duur and German teuer ‘expensive’.Extra examples It’s always good to hear from dear old Harry! John is a very dear friend of mine. St Barnabas’s Church was a place that would always be dear to him. That one mistake has cost him dear over the years. The puppy was a dear little thing. There was a shortage of potatoes, and they became dear. Everything’s so dear now, isn’t it? He’s one of my dearest friends.Idioms
    close/dear/near to somebody’s heart
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    having a lot of importance and interest for somebody
    used to describe somebody in a way that shows affection Dear old Sue! I knew she'd help. Their baby's a dear little thing.
    for dear life, for your life
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    as hard or as fast as possible She was holding on to the rope for dear life. Run for your life!
    hold somebody/something dear
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    (formal) to care very much for somebody/something; to value somebody/something highly He had destroyed everything we held dear.
    your nearest and dearest
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    (informal) your close family and friends
See the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary entry: dear