dear

\ \ [OE] Dear is one of the English language’s more semantically stable words. By the 11th century it had already developed its two major present-day senses, ‘much-loved’ and ‘expensive’, which are shared by its Germanic relative, German teuer (Dutch has differentiated diermuch loved’ from duurexpensive’). All these words go back to a prehistoric West and North Germanic *deurjaz, whose ultimate origin is not known. In the 13th century an abstract noun, dearth, was derived from the adjective. It seems likely that this originally meant ‘expensiveness’ (although instances of this sense, which has since disappeared, are not recorded before the late 15th century). This developed to ‘period when food is expensive, because scarce’, and eventually to ‘scarcity’ generally.
\ \ Cf.DEARTH

Word origins - 2ed. . 2005.

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  • Dear — or Dears or some variant thereof can represent many things. Dear may refer to: dear (manga), a Japanese manga series by Cocoa Fujiwara. Dear (Shion Miyawaki), a 2008 pop album Dear (surname), a surname Dear , a salutation (greeting) Drop… …   Wikipedia

  • dear — dear·born; dear·ly; dear·ness; en·dear; en·dear·ment; un·dear; dear; dear·ie; en·dear·ing·ly; en·dear·ing·ness; …   English syllables

  • Dear — (d[=e]r), a. [Compar. {Dearer} (d[=e]r [ e]r); superl. {Dearest} (d[=e]r [e^]st).] [OE. dere, deore, AS. de[ o]re; akin to OS. diuri, D. duur, OHG. tiuri, G. theuer, teuer, Icel. d[=y]rr, Dan. & Sw. dyr. Cf. {Darling}, {Dearth}.] 1. Bearing a… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • dear — [dɪə ǁ dɪr] adjective 1. especially BrE costing a lot of money; = EXPENSIVE: • I could never afford a house around here they re far too dear. 2. FINANCE BANKING if mo …   Financial and business terms

  • Dear — as part of a formal greeting at the beginning of a letter, was introduced in the 15c in various formulas. Dear Sir and Dear Madam have become the most formal types, with Dear Mr Jones and Dear Mrs/Miss/Ms Jones serving as more socially neutral… …   Modern English usage

  • Dear — ist der Familienname folgender Personen: Brian Dear (* 1943), englischer Fußballspieler Cleveland Dear (1888–1950), US amerikanischer Politiker John Dear (* 1959), US amerikanischer Jesuitenpater, Autor und Friedensaktivist Matthew Dear, US… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Dear — Single par Mika Nakashima Face A Dear Face B A Miracle For You (2011) Sortie 27 avril 2011 …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Dear M.F. — Dear M.F. EP by Big Sugar Released 1995 Genre Blu …   Wikipedia

  • Dear... — Dear… may refer to: Dear… (Kyoko Fukada album) Dear… (The Grace album) Dear… (Sachi Tainaka album) Dear… (song), a song by May J. This disambiguation page lists articles associated with the same title. If an …   Wikipedia

  • dear — [dir] adj. [ME dere < OE deore, precious, costly, beloved, akin to Du duur, Ger teuer] 1. much loved; beloved 2. much valued; highly thought of; esteemed: used with a title or name as a polite form of address, as in writing letters [Dear Sir]… …   English World dictionary

  • Dear — Dear, n. A dear one; lover; sweetheart. [1913 Webster] That kiss I carried from thee, dear. Shak. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

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