—adj. 1. beloved or loved: a dear friend. 2. (used in the salutation of a letter as an expression of affection or respect or as a conventional greeting): Dear Sir. 3. precious in one's regard; cherished: our dearest possessions. 4. heartfelt; earnest: one's dearest wish. 5. high-priced; expensive: The silk dress was too dear. 6. charging high prices: That shop is too dear for my budget. 7. excessive; high: a dear price to pay for one's independence. 8. Obs.difficult to get; scarce.
9. Obs.worthy; honorable.
—n. 1. a person who is good, kind, or generous: You're a dear to help me with the work. 2. a beloved one.
3. (sometimes cap.) an affectionate or familiar term of address.
—adv. 1. dearly; fondly.
2. at a high price: That painting cost me dear.
—interj. (used as an exclamation of surprise, distress, etc.): Oh dear, what a disappointment! Dear me! What's all that noise?