dear Meaning in the Cambridge English Dictionary

Meaning of “dear” in the English Dictionary

"dear" in British English

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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 ​ourhoneymoon. 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
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dear adjective (EXPENSIVE)

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


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!


uk   /dɪər/  us   /dɪr/
[C usually singular] informal a ​kindperson: 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 ​yourreceipt, dear. Would you like a ​drink, dear? Lovely to ​see you, my dear.
(Definition of dear from the Cambridge Advanced Learner’s Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)

"dear" in American English

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dearadjective [-er/-est only]

 us   /dɪər/

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

loved or ​greatlyliked: 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.


 us   /dɪər/ infml

dear exclamation (EXPRESSION)

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

dearnoun [C]

 us   /dɪr/

dear noun [C] (LOVED PERSON)

a ​person who is ​loved or ​greatlyliked: 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)

"dear" in Business English

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uk   us   /dɪər/ UK
expensive: Tourist ​restaurants are too dear for the ​locals.
cost sb dear to cause someone to have a lot problems or to ​lose a lot of ​money: The Government's ​lack of ​knowledge about IT ​systems has undoubtedly ​cost it dear.
(Definition of dear from the Cambridge Business English Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)
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“dear” in Business English

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