Dear 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 high price; high-priced; costly; expensive. [1913 Webster]

The cheapest of us is ten groats too dear. --Shak. [1913 Webster]

2. Marked by scarcity or dearth, and exorbitance of price; as, a dear year. [1913 Webster]

3. Highly valued; greatly beloved; cherished; precious. ``Hear me, dear lady.'' --Shak. [1913 Webster]

Neither count I my life dear unto myself. --Acts xx. 24. [1913 Webster]

And the last joy was dearer than the rest. --Pope. [1913 Webster]

Dear as remember'd kisses after death. --Tennyson. [1913 Webster]

4. Hence, close to the heart; heartfelt; present in mind; engaging the attention. (a) Of agreeable things and interests. [1913 Webster]

[I'll] leave you to attend him: some dear cause Will in concealment wrap me up awhile. --Shak. [1913 Webster]

His dearest wish was to escape from the bustle and glitter of Whitehall. --Macaulay. (b) Of disagreeable things and antipathies. [1913 Webster]

In our dear peril. --Shak. [1913 Webster]

Would I had met my dearest foe in heaven Or ever I had seen that day. --Shak. [1913 Webster]

The Collaborative International Dictionary of English. 2000.

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  • dearest —    Whereas ‘dear’ can be used in a friendly way, ‘dearest’ used alone or as part of a vocative group usually signifies an intimate endearment. In modern usage ‘darling’ would probably be preferred in both cases. Shakespeare has at least one… …   A dictionary of epithets and terms of address

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  • dearest — I UK [ˈdɪərəst] / US [ˈdɪrəst] adjective 1) most expensive She bought the dearest dress in the shop. 2) old fashioned used in front of the name of someone you love at the beginning of a letter to them Dearest Jane, Can you ever forgive me? 3)… …   English dictionary

  • dearest — [ˈdɪərəst] adj 1) most expensive 2) used about something that you want or hope for more than anything else her dearest wish[/ex] 3) Dearest old fashioned used in front of the name of someone you love at the beginning of a letter to them …   Dictionary for writing and speaking English

  • dearest — adj. Dearest is used with these nouns: ↑wish …   Collocations dictionary

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