Cambridge Dictionaries online Cambridge Dictionaries online

The most popular online dictionary and thesaurus for learners of English

English definition of “dear”

See all translations

dear

adjective uk   /dɪər/ us    /dɪr/

dear adjective (LOVED)

B2 loved or liked very much: She was a very dear friend. He was very dear to me. This place is very dear to me - we came here on our honeymoon. What a dear (= very attractive) little kitten! My dear Gina - how nice to see you!A1 used at the beginning of a letter to greet the person you are writing to: Dear Kerry/Mum and Dad/Ms Smith/Sir
More examples

dear adjective (EXPENSIVE)

mainly UK costing too much: The food was good but very dear.
Synonym

dear

exclamation uk   /dɪər/ us    /dɪr/ ( also old-fashioned dearie) informal
A2 used in expressions of anger, disappointment, sadness, or surprise: Oh dear! I've lost my keys again. Dear me, it's already 4.30 and I said I'd be home by 5.00! Dearie me, what a mess!

dear

noun uk   /dɪər/ us    /dɪr/
[C usually singular] informal a kind person: Annie's such a dear - she's brought me breakfast in bed every morning this week. [as form of address] used to address someone you love or are being friendly to, not used between men: Here's your receipt, dear. Would you like a drink, dear? Lovely to see you, my dear.
(Definition of dear from the Cambridge Advanced Learners Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)
What is the pronunciation of dear?
Add Cambridge dictionaries to your browser to your website

Definitions of “dear” in other dictionaries

Word of the Day

piglet

a baby pig

Word of the Day

I won’t tolerate it! Replacing formal words with phrasal verbs.

by Liz Walter,
April 01, 2015
When you are using a language, it is important to understand if a word is formal or informal, so that you can use it in an appropriate way. You might hear people saying dosh for money, or spud for potato, but they wouldn’t write those words in a formal essay. Similarly, a

Read More 

stackin’ p

March 30, 2015
idiom slang earning a lot of money ‘That’s a very generous present.”Yeah, well, she’s stackin’ p, innit?’

Read More