Did you know?

Click any word in a definition or example to find the entry for that word

dear - definition and synonyms

What are red words?

90% of the time, speakers of English use just 7,500 words in speech and writing. These words appear in red, and are graded with stars. One-star words are frequent, two-star words are more frequent, and three-star words are the most frequent.

Thesaurus diagram

The thesaurus of synonyms and related words is fully integrated into the dictionary. Click on the thesaurus category heading under the button in an entry to see the synonyms and related words for that meaning.

noun [countable]     dear pronunciation in British English
Word Forms
  1. 1
    spoken used for talking to someone you love or are friendly with

    Have you had a nice day, dear?

    my dear:

    You mustn’t worry, my dear. Everything’s going to be all right.

    1. a.
      used for talking in a friendly way to someone whose name you do not know

      Be careful on those steps, dear.

  2. 2
    someone who is nice, generous, and helpful to others

    She’s a lovely person – an absolute dear.

    be a dear and do something:

    Be a dear and go and get my glasses for me, will you?



a lifestyle focussing on simple pleasures such as comfort and cosiness in the home, and spending time with friends and family

BuzzWord Article

Open Dictionary


a form of location that involves the underwater detonation of a bomb which causes sound waves that are picked up by ships

add a word


A must for anyone with an interest in the changing face of language. The Macmillan Dictionary blog explores English as it is spoken around the world today.

global English and language change from our blog
Macmillan learn live love play