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From Biology-Online Dictionary | Biology-Online Dictionary
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1. Bearing a high price; high-priced; costly; expensive. The cheapest of us is ten groats too dear. (Shak)

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

3. Highly valued; greatly beloved; cherished; precious. Hear me, dear lady. Neither count i my life dear unto myself. (acts xx. 24) And the last joy was dearer than the rest. (Pope) Dear as remember'd kisses after death. (Tennyson)

4. Hence, close to the heart; heartfelt; present in mind; engaging the attention. Of agreeable things and interests. [I'll] leave you to attend him: some dear cause Will in concealment wrap me up awhile. (Shak) His dearest wish was to escape from the bustle and glitter of Whitehall. (Macaulay) Of disagreeable things and antipathies. In our dear peril. (Shak) Would i had met my dearest foe in heaven or ever i had seen that day. (Shak)

Origin: oe. Dere, deore, as. Deore; akin to os. Diuri, D. Duur, OHG. Tiuri, g. Theuer, teuer, Icel. Dr, dan. & Sw. Dyr. Cf. Darling, Dearth.

a dear one; lover; sweetheart. That kiss i carried from thee, dear. (Shak)