Definition of “dear” - English Dictionary

“dear” in British English

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dearadjective

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

Idiom(s)

dearexclamation

uk /dɪər/ us /dɪr/ also old-fashioned dearie informal

dearnoun

uk /dɪər/ us /dɪr/

(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 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.

dearexclamation

us /dɪər/ infml

dear exclamation (EXPRESSION)

used to express annoyance, 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 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)

“dear” in Business English

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dearadjective

uk /dɪər/ us 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)