Dear vs. Dearest - What's the difference?

Wiktionary

  • Dear (adjective)

    High in price; expensive.

    "The dearer the jewel, the greater the love expressed."

  • Dear (adjective)

    Loved; lovable.

  • Dear (adjective)

    Loving, affectionate, heartfelt

    "Such dear embrace tenderly comforts even in this dear sorrow."

  • Dear (adjective)

    Precious to or greatly valued by someone.

    "The dearer the giver, the dearer the trinket he brings!"

  • Dear (adjective)

    A formal way to start (possibly after my) addressing somebody at the beginning of a letter, memo etc.

    "Dear Sir/Madam/Miss, please notice our offices will be closed during the following bank holidays:nb...."

  • Dear (adjective)

    A formal way to start (often after my) addressing somebody one likes or regards kindly.

    "My dear friend, I feel better as soon as you come sit beside my sickbed!"

  • Dear (adjective)

    An ironic way to start (often after my) addressing an inferior.

    "My dear boy, if your grades don't pick up I won't bounce you on but over my knee!"

  • Dear (adjective)

    Noble.

  • Dear (adjective)

    Severe, or severely affected; sore.

  • Dear (adjective)

    Fierce.

    "The Christens found the heathens dear, as the lion doth the bear."

  • Dear (noun)

    A very kind, loving person.

    "My cousin is such a dear, always drawing me pictures."

  • Dear (noun)

    A beloved person

  • Dear (verb)

    To endear.

  • Dear (adverb)

    dearly; at a high price

  • Dearest (noun)

    A beloved person; a term of endearment.

Oxford Dictionary

  • Dear (adjective)

    regarded with deep affection

    "he is very dear to me"

    "a dear friend"

  • Dear (adjective)

    used in speech as a polite or affectionate form of address

    "Martin, my dear fellow"

  • Dear (adjective)

    used in the polite form of address at the start of a letter.

  • Dear (adjective)

    endearing; sweet

    "a dear little puppy"

  • Dear (adjective)

    expensive

    "five pounds—that's a bit dear!"

  • Dear (noun)

    used as an affectionate or friendly form of address

    "don't you worry, dear"

  • Dear (noun)

    a sweet or endearing person

    "Harry's a dear"

  • Dear (adverb)

    at a high cost

    "they buy property cheaply and sell dear"

  • Dear (interjection)

    used in expressions of surprise, dismay, or sympathy

    "oh dear, I've upset you"

  • Dearest (adjective)

    most loved or cherished

    "one of my dearest friends"

  • Dearest (adjective)

    most expensive

    "beer is dearest in Germany"

  • Dearest (noun)

    used as an affectionate form of address

    "you make me so happy, dearest"

Webster Dictionary

  • Dear (adjective)

    Bearing a high price; high-priced; costly; expensive.

  • Dear (adjective)

    Marked by scarcity or dearth, and exorbitance of price; as, a dear year.

  • Dear (adjective)

    Highly valued; greatly beloved; cherished; precious.

  • Dear (adjective)

    Hence, close to the heart; heartfelt; present in mind; engaging the attention.

  • Dear (adjective)

    Of disagreeable things and antipathies.

  • Dear (noun)

    A dear one; lover; sweetheart.

  • Dear (adverb)

    Dearly; at a high price.

  • Dear

    To endear.

Princeton's WordNet

  • Dear (noun)

    a beloved person; used as terms of endearment

  • Dear (noun)

    a sweet innocent mild-mannered person (especially a child)

  • Dear (adjective)

    dearly loved

  • Dear (adjective)

    with or in a close or intimate relationship;

    "a good friend"

    "my sisters and brothers are near and dear"

  • Dear (adjective)

    earnest;

    "one's dearest wish"

    "devout wishes for their success"

    "heartfelt condolences"

  • Dear (adjective)

    having a high price;

    "costly jewelry"

    "high-priced merchandise"

    "much too dear for my pocketbook"

    "a pricey restaurant"

  • Dear (adverb)

    with affection;

    "she loved him dearly"

    "he treats her affectionately"

  • Dear (adverb)

    at a great cost;

    "he paid dearly for the food"

    "this cost him dear"

  • Dearest (noun)

    a beloved person; used as terms of endearment

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