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

be in/out of luck

to be able/unable to have or do what you want

Word of the Day

A certain je ne sais quoi: French words and phrases used in English

by Liz Walter,
January 21, 2015
It is an odd irony that the more sophisticated your use of English is, the more likely you are to use French words and phrases. Or, to be more accurate, ones you know to be French – words such as ballet, au pair, abattoir, fiancé, café, and restaurant are so entrenched in

Read More 

micro pig noun

January 26, 2015
an extremely small pig, bred to be a pet Micro pigs have become popular pets recently, with famous owners including Victoria Beckham, Paris Hilton and Olympic diver, Tom Daley.

Read More