First Name
in the U.S.
since 1880
Last Name
in the U.S.
in 2010
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How to Pronounce Dear

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Meaning and Origin

What does the name Dear mean? Find out below.

Origin and Meaning of Dear

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International Interest
Webster's Unabridged Dictionary
adjective Dear
  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, dearlady." [Shak.]"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.
    1. 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.]
    2. 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.]

Etymology: OE. dere deore, AS. deóre; akin to OS. diuri, D. duur, OHG. tiuri, G. theuer teuer, Icel. dȳrr, Dan. & Sw. dyr. Cf. Darling Dearth

noun Dear
A dear one; lover; sweetheart.
adverb Dear
Dearly; at a high price.
verb Dear
To endear.
Other Dictionary Sources
  1. A beloved person; used as terms of endearment
  2. A sweet innocent mild-mannered person (especially a child)
  3. With or in a close or intimate relationship ("my sisters and brothers are near and dear")
  4. Having a high price ("much too dear for my pocketbook")
  5. Dearly loved
  6. Sincerely earnest ("one's dearest wish")
  7. At a great cost ("he paid dearly for the food" and "this cost him dear")
  8. With affection ("she loved him dearly")

From Middle English dere, from Old English dēore, from Proto-Germanic *diurijaz. Cognate with Dutch duur (“costly, precious”), German teuer (“costly, precious”), Icelandic dýr (“expensive”), Norwegian dyr, Swedish dyr (“expensive”).

  1. A very kind, loving person.
    My cousin is such a , always drawing me pictures.
  2. A beloved person

Middle English dere, from Old English dēor, from Proto-Germanic *deuzaz. Cognate with the above

    dear was also found in the following language(s): Irish

    Notable Persons Named Dear

    Dear Deidre is a journalist.


    Dear was born in 1963 in Hampshire.


    Notable Persons With the Last Name Dear

    Matthew Dear is a glitch (music), microhouse, electropop, and tech house record producer and disc jockey. He has had major accomplishments since 1999. Matthew was born Matthew Dear on April 4th, 1979 in Kingsville, Texas, United States. Matthew is also known as False, Audion, and Jabberjaw.


    His career lasted from 1938 to 1970. Basil was given the name Basil Clive Dear on January 1st, 1911 in Westcliff-on-Sea. He left this life on March 23rd, 1971.


    William Dear is a film director, film producer, screenwriter, and actor. He has had major accomplishments since 1975. William was born on November 30th, 1943 in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. William is also known as Bill Dear.



    Noach was born in 1953.


    The Lord Dear is a chief constable. The was given the name Geoffrey James Dear on September 20th, 1937.


    Where is the name Dear popular?

    International Interest for Dear

    Interest is based how many people viewed this name from each country and is scaled based on the total views by each country so that large countries do not always show the most interest. Darker blue on the map indicates that people in the country are more likely to search for this name.

    Longer bars in the bar graph indicate that people in the country are more interested in the name. Not all countries that have shown an interest in the name are listed in the bar graph.

    United States
    United Kingdom

    Popularity in the US

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    Popularity of Dear as a last name

    The map shows the absolute popularity of the name Dear as a last name in each of the states. See other popular names in Mississippi, Louisiana, or New York.

    Ethnicity Distribution

    Ethnicity Dear U.S.
      White 66.90% 64.26%
      African American 24.29% 11.96%
      Asian, Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander 3.21% 4.85%
      American Indian and Alaska Native 0.49% 0.69%
      Two or More Ethnicities 2.34% 1.76%
      Hispanic or Latino 2.77% 16.26%

    Of Last Name Dear

    People with the last name Dear are most frequently White or African American

    Entire United States

    Fun Facts about the name Dear

    • How Popular is the name Dear? As a last name Dear was the 8,906th most popular name in 2010.
    • When was the first name Dear first recorded in the United States? The oldest recorded birth by the Social Security Administration for the name Dear is Monday, April 19th, 1880.
    • How unique is the name Dear? From 1880 to 2017 less than 5 people per year have been born with the first name Dear. Hoorah! You are a unique individual.
    • Weird things about the name Dear: Your name in reverse order is Raed. A random rearrangement of the letters in your name (anagram) will give Eadr. How do you pronounce that?
    • How many people have the last name Dear? In 2010, the U.S. Census Bureau surveyed 3,677 people with the last name Dear.
    • How likely are you to meet someone with the last name of Dear? If you manage to meet 100,000 people in your life, chances are that 1 of them will have Dear as their last name.

    What Dears Have Visited This Page?

    Name poster for Dear

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    • Sources:
    • U.S. Census Bureau: Frequently Occurring Surnames from the Census 2000 (public domain).
    • 1913 Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary via the Collaborative International Dictionary of English (License)
    • Other Dictionary Sources: WordNet 3.1 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University (License).
    • Wiktionary: Titles and License.
    • Notable persons via Wikipedia: Titles and License. Click each image for the attribution information.