If someone or something is dear to you, it means you hold them or it very close to your heart, as in "My country is very dear to me" or "She is a dear friend."

As a written form of address — such as "Dear Mr. So-and-so" — dear is generally a polite but impersonal standard greeting. Dear can sometimes mean expensive, as in "The cost of food is so dear these days," though that's a rather dated usage nowadays. Used about children, baby animals, or other examples of insufferable cuteness, dear can also mean "sweet" or "adorable." In this sense, dear is a favorite word of grandmothers and other doting relations.

Definitions of dear
  1. noun
    a beloved person; used as terms of endearment
    synonyms: beloved, dearest, honey, love
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    type of:
    a person who loves someone or is loved by someone
  2. noun
    a sweet innocent mild-mannered person (especially a child)
    synonyms: lamb
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    type of:
    inexperienced person, innocent
    a person who lacks knowledge of evil
  3. adjective
    dearly loved
    synonyms: beloved, darling
    held dear
  4. adjective
    with or in a close or intimate relationship
    “my sisters and brothers are near and dear
    synonyms: good, near
    close in relevance or relationship
  5. adjective
    synonyms: devout, earnest, heartfelt
    open and genuine; not deceitful
  6. adjective
    having a high price
    “much too dear for my pocketbook”
    synonyms: costly, high-priced, pricey, pricy
    high in price or charging high prices
  7. adverb
    with affection
    synonyms: affectionately, dearly
  8. adverb
    at a great cost
    “this cost him dear
    synonyms: dearly
Word Family

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