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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.]


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
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


1. darling What's wrong, my dearest?
1. most beloved my oldest and dearest friends


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
References in classic literature ?
Don't you think he's the dearest old man in the world?
She wanted to know about my friends, and my way of living, and my dearest hopes.
My dearest cousin, cannot you tell me what has happened?
The town itself is perhaps the dearest place to live in, in all New England.
By him you were sure to be cheated unmercifully, and that even though you thought yourself the dearest of the hundreds of friends he had.
Thou are passing away; but they that love thee dearest know it not.
Within the twelvemonth I be- came her worshiper; and ours was the dearest and perfectest comradeship that ever was.
The day he arrived in Heidelberg he enrolled his name on the college books, and was so elated with the fact that his dearest hope had found fruition and he was actually a student of the old and renowned university, that he set to work that very night to celebrate the event by a grand lark in company with some other students.
He was very popular with the people, and was the judge's dearest friend.
I never put it up when the sun shines; pink fades awfully, you know, and I only carry it to meetin' cloudy Sundays; sometimes the sun comes out all of a sudden, and I have a dreadful time covering it up; it's the dearest thing in life to me, but it's an awful care.
A single word from the white men was enough--against all our wishes, prayers, and entreaties--to sunder forever the dearest friends, dearest kindred, and strongest ties known to human beings.
Not, of course, but that Sophy is beautiful too in my eyes, and would be one of the dearest girls that ever was, in anybody's eyes(I should think).