Etymology
Advertisement

Words related to dear

darling (n.)

Middle English dereling, from Old English deorling, dyrling "one who is much beloved, a favorite," double diminutive of deor "dear" (see dear (adj.)). The vowel shift from -e- to -a- (16c.) is usual for -er- followed by a consonant (see marsh).

As an adjective "very dear, particularly beloved," from 1590s; in affected use, "sweetly charming" (1805). "It is better to be An olde mans derlyng, than a yong mans werlyng" (1562).

Advertisement
dearly (adv.)

Old English deorlice "worthily, excellently;" see dear + -ly (2). From c. 1200 as "with tender affection;" from late 15c. as "at a high price."

dearness (n.)

early 14c., "quality of being held in esteem or affection," from dear (adj.) + -ness. From 1520s as "quality of being costly."

dearth (n.)

c. 1300, derthe "scarcity of food," of other situations of scarcity by mid-14c., abstract noun from root of Old English deore "precious, costly" (see dear) + abstract noun suffix -th (2). A common Germanic formation, though not always with the same sense (Old Saxon diurtha "splendor, glory, love," Middle Dutch dierte, Dutch duurte, Old High German tiurida "glory"). Presumably the connecting sense in English is that, in famines, food is costly because scarce.

deary (n.)

also dearie, 1680s, "a darling," familiar term of endearment, diminutive of dear in the noun sense of "dear one."

endear (v.)
1580s, "to enhance the value of," also "win the affection of," from en- (1) "make, put in" + dear (adj.). Meaning "to make dear," the main modern sense, is from 1640s. Related: Endeared; endearing.