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dear 1

adj. dear·er, dear·est
a. Loved and cherished: my dearest friend.
b. Greatly valued; precious: lost everything dear to them.
2. Highly esteemed or regarded. Used in direct address, especially in salutations: Dear Lee Dawson.
a. High-priced; expensive.
b. Charging high prices.
4. Earnest; ardent: "This good man was a dear lover and constant practicer of angling" (Izaak Walton).
5. Obsolete Noble; worthy.
6. Heartfelt: It is my dearest wish.
1. A person who is greatly loved. Often used as a form of address.
2. An endearing, lovable, or kind person: What a dear she is!
1. With fondness; affectionately.
2. At a high cost: sold their wares dear.
Used as a polite exclamation, chiefly of surprise or distress: oh dear; dear me.

[Middle English dere, from Old English dēore.]

dear′ly adv.
dear′ness n.

dear 2

Severe; grievous; sore: our dearest need.

[Middle English dere, from Old English dēor.]
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.


1. used as an affectionate way of addressing someone
2. most cherished: his dearest wish was to see you two married.
used as a very affectionate form of address
Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged, 12th Edition 2014 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2014
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.dearest - a beloved persondearest - a beloved person; used as terms of endearment
lover - a person who loves someone or is loved by someone
Based on WordNet 3.0, Farlex clipart collection. © 2003-2012 Princeton University, Farlex Inc.


1. darling What's wrong, my dearest?
1. most beloved my oldest and dearest friends
Collins Thesaurus of the English Language – Complete and Unabridged 2nd Edition. 2002 © HarperCollins Publishers 1995, 2002


n (= darling) → chéri (chérie)m/f
(= darling) [person] Dearest Paul → Mon cher Paul
Dearest Maria → Ma chère Maria
(= most cherished) my dearest hope → mon plus grand espoir
her dearest hope → son plus grand espoir
my dearest wish → mon vœu le plus cher
his dearest wish → son vœu le plus cher
see also near
Collins English/French Electronic Resource. © HarperCollins Publishers 2005
References in classic literature ?
MY DEAREST BARBARA ALEXIEVNA,--How happy I was last night--how immeasurably, how impossibly happy!
From you, my dearest dead ones, cometh unto me a sweet savour, heart- opening and melting.
Dearest, dearest Meg,--I do not know what you will say: Paul and I are in love--the younger son who only came here Wednesday.
However, you have been a good, good boy, and you are the best of all the dearest boys that ever were, this morning, and here's the chain I have made of it, Pa, and you must let me put it round your neck with my own loving hands.'
"Tell it if you wish to, dearest. This precious history then.
"My dearest wish is the success of Berande," Joan had just said, apropos of a discussion about the cheapening of freights on copra to market.
The king's son ascended, but instead of finding his dearest Rapunzel, he found the enchantress, who gazed at him with wicked and venomous looks.
'Do you remember that I tried to tell you, when I came home, what a debt of gratitude I owed you, dearest Agnes, and how fervently I felt towards you?'
No, dearest Georgiana, you came so nearly perfect from the hand of Nature that this slightest possible defect, which we hesitate whether to term a defect or a beauty, shocks me, as being the visible mark of earthly imperfection."
The next was in these words: "I do not pretend to regret anything I shall leave in Hertfordshire, except your society, my dearest friend; but we will hope, at some future period, to enjoy many returns of that delightful intercourse we have known, and in the meanwhile may lessen the pain of separation by a very frequent and most unreserved correspondence.
"Yes, dearest, dearest grand-mamma, thou know'st I will."
They met by appointment; and as Isabella had arrived nearly five minutes before her friend, her first address naturally was, "My dearest creature, what can have made you so late?