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English definition of “dear”

dear

adjective [-er/-est only]  /dɪər/ us  

dear adjective [-er/-est only] (LOVED)

loved or greatly liked: She’s a dear friend. Dear is used at the beginning of a letter to greet the person you are writing to: Dear Kerrie/Mom and Dad/Ms. Smith/Sir Dearest can be used in a letter to greet someone you love: Dearest Ben, I think of you every day.

dear

exclamation  /dɪər/ infml us  

dear exclamation (EXPRESSION)

used to express annoyance, disappointment, unhappiness, or surprise: Oh dear! I’ve lost my keys again.

dear

noun [C]  /dɪr/ us  

dear noun [C] (LOVED PERSON)

a person who is loved or greatly liked: Annie’s such a dear. Dear is used to address someone in a friendly way, esp. someone you love or a child: Have something to eat, dear.
(Definition of dear from the Cambridge Academic Content Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)
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