Definition for DEAR

DEAR, a.1 [Sax. deor; G. theuer, dear, rare; theure or theurung, dearness, scarcity, dearth; D. duur, dear; duurte, dearth; Sw. dyr, dear; dyrhet, dearth; Dan. dyre, dyrtid, id. It seems that the primary sense is scarce, rare, or close, narrow; this is obvious from dearth. So in L. carus, caritas. Class Dr, No. 7, 8, 19, and Class Sr, No. 4, 34, 47.]

  1. Scarce; not plentiful. [Obs.] – Shak.
  2. Bearing a high price in comparison of the usual price; more costly than usual; of a higher price than the customary one. Wheat is dear at a dollar a bushel, when the usual price is seventy-five cents. This sense results from the former, as dearness is the effect of scarcity and demand.
  3. Of a high value in estimation; greatly valued; beloved; precious. And the last joy was dearer than the rest. – Pope. Be ye followers of God, as dear children. – Eph. v.

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