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Dear, adj. 1) bearing a high price: “is it possible that any villany should be so d.?” Ado III, 3 118 (i. e. should cost a thousand ducats). “shall render me a d. account,” IV, 1, 337; cf. R2 I, 1, 130. “making graces d.” LLL II, 10. “it is a d. expense,” Mids. I, 1, 249. “the --est ring in Venice will I give you,” Merch. IV, 1, 435. “I have been d. to him,” Tw. III, 2, 58. “my thanks are too d. a halfpenny,” Hml. II, 2, 282.
2) asking a high price: “at the --est chandler's in Europe,” H4A III, 3, 52. “whose tailors are as d. as yours,” Cymb. II, 3, 84.
3) precious, valuable, of worth; a) of things: “wail my d. time's waste,” Sonn. 30, 4. “a --er birth than this his love had brought,” 32, 11. “thou art too d. for my possessing,” 87, 1. “that may express my love or thy d. merit,” 108, 4. “sold cheap what is most d.” 110, 3. “showed his visage by that cost more d.” Compl. 96. “sonnets that did amplify each stone's d. nature,” Compl. 96 “the fault's your own; so is the --est of the loss,” Tp. II, 1, 135. “supportable to make the d. loss,” V, 146; cf. R3 II, 2, 77. R3 II, 2, 77 R3 II, 2, 77 “I hold your dainties cheap, and your welcome d.” Err. III, 1, 21; cf. H8 V, 3, 174 and Troil. V, 3, 27. “sighs of love that costs the fresh blood d.” Mids. III, 2, 97. cf. “thy --est blood,” H6A III, 4, 40. H6C I, 1, 223. V, 1, 69. “your worth is very d. in my regard,” Merch. I, 1, 62. “a --er merit, not so deep a maim, have I deserved,” R2 I, 3, 156. “that's the --est grace it renders you,” H4A III, 1, 182. “here the Trojans taste our --est repute with their finest palate,” Troil. I, 3, 337. “that his country 's --er than himself,” Cor. I, 6, 72. “to earn a --er estimation of them,” Cor. II, 3, 103. “a heart --er than Plutus' mine,” Caes. IV, 3, 102. “three of the carriages are very d. to fancy,” Hml. V, 2, 159 (cf. Meas. II, 2, 150). Hence == important: “to lay so dangerous and d. a trust on any soul removed,” H4A IV, 1, 34. “the letter was not nice but full of charge and d. import,” Rom. V, 2, 19. “a ring that I must use in d. employment,” V, 3, 32. “and dare, upon the warrant of my note, commend a d. thing to you,” Lr. III, 1, 19. “some d. cause will in concealment wrap me up,” IV, 3, 53. IV, 3, 53 “they have used their --est action in the tented field,” Oth. I, 3, 85.
b) used of persons: “many moe corrivals and d. men of estimation,” H4A IV, 4, 31. “death hath not struck so fat a deer to-day, though many --er, in this bloody fray,” V, 4, 108. “the d. man holds honour far more precious-dear than life,” Troil. V, 3, 27 (i. e. the worthy, estimable man. Some M. Edd. brave man).
4) beloved, cherished: Lucr. 687. Tp. I, 2, 1. Tp. I, 2, 1 Tp. I, 2, 1 III, 1, 21. V, 172. Gentl. I, 2, 17. II, 7, 12 etc. etc. Followed by “to:” Tp. III, 1, 39. Gentl. II, 6, 23. Tw. III, 2, 57 etc. Sometimes approaching to the sense of lovely: “prodigal of all d. grace,” LLL II, 9. “d. perfection,” All's V, 3, 18. cf. Compl. 96, and dearly in Cymb. II, 2, 18. Singular use (cf. in German das liebe Leben, die liebe Unschuld, der liebe Himmel, etc.): “O d. discretion, how his words are suited!” Merch. III, 5, 70. “beat at this gate, that let thy folly in and thy d. judgment out,” Lr. I, 4, 294. “the gods to their d. shelter take thee,” I, 1, 185. from him (viz death) “d. life redeems you,” Wint. V, 3, 103.
Often substantively: “my d.” Lucr. 1293. Mids. II, 2, 43. “d., they durst not,” Tp. I, 2, 140. Mids. V, 286. Wint. V, 1, 215. Cor. V, 3, 47. Ant. III, 13, 158. IV, 15, 21. “sweet d.” Shr. IV, 2, 10. “--est!” Tp. III, 1, 86. Wint. I, 2, 137. “best of --est,” Sonn. 48, 7. “my --est,” Wint. I, 2, 88. “thy --est quit thee,” Ant. III, 13, 65. “a counsellor, a traitress and a d.” All's I, 1, 184.
Quite as a subst., == lover, sweetheart: “will court thee for his d.” LLL V, 2, 131. “Lord Biron is my d.” LLL V, 2, 131 “it is thy d.” Mids. II, 2, 33. “yonder is thy d.” III, 2, 176. “deflowered my d.” V, 297. “minion, your d. lies dead,” Oth. V, 1, 33. In the plural: “for my lads to give their dears,” Wint. IV, 4, 227 (Autolycus' song).
5) heartfelt: “d. religious love,” Sonn. 31, 6. “and our d. love lose name of single one,” 39, 6. 117, 3. 124, 1. “so d. the love my people bore me,” Tp. I, 2, 141. Wiv. IV, 6, 9. Meas. III, 2, 160. As I, 2, 288. John II, 157. “effects of terror and d. modesty,” Compl. 202 (i. e. the chaste bashfulness of the heart). “what d. good will I bear unto the banished Valentine,” Gentl. IV, 3, 14. “where we swore to you d. amity,” John V, 4, 20. “sweets grown common lose their d. delight,” Sonn. 102, 12. “praising what is lost makes the remembrance d.” All's V, 3, 20. “surprise her with discourse of my d. faith,” Tw. I, 4, 25. “if thou wert sensible of courtesy, I should not make so d. a show of zeal,” H4A V, 4, 95 (== such a hearty, sincere show. Ff and Q2 great). “out of d. respect,” H8 V, 3, 119. “strangles our d. vows even in the birth,” Troil. IV, 4, 39. “O, a root! d. thanks!” Tim. IV, 3, 192. Hence == earnest: “thine, in the --est design of industry,” LLL IV, 1, 88 (Armado's letter). “you towards York shall bend you with your --est speed,” H4A V, 5, 36. “consort with me in loud and d. petition,” Troil. V, 3, 9.
Used as well of disagreeable affections: “deafed with the clamours of their own d. groans,” LLL V, 2, 874. “if she had partaken of my flesh and cost me the --est groans of a mother,” All's IV, 5, 11. “made lame by fortune's --est spite,” Sonn. 37, 3. “your grace is perjured much, full of d. guiltiness,” LLL V, 2, 801. “whom thou in terms so bloody and so d. hast made thine enemies,” Tw. V, 74 (== so touching the heart). “thou art the issue of my d. offence,” John I, 257 (== the offence burdening my conscience). “the dateless limit of thy d. exile,” R2 I, 3, 151 (== sad, grieving the heart). “this d. and deep rebuke,” H4B IV, 5, 141 (== earnest). “true repentance of all your d. offences,” H5 II, 2, 181 (== grievous). “how canst thou urge God's dreadful law to us, when thou hast broke it in so d. degree?” R3 I, 4, 215. “which in his --est need will shrink from him,” V, 2, 21 (Qq greatest). “O thou sweet king-killer, and d. divorce twixt natural son and sire,” Tim. IV, 3, 382 (but here it may be == cherished). “strain what other means is left unto us in our d. peril,” V, 1, 231 (== felt grievously). “and I a heavy interim shall support by his d. absence,” Oth. I, 3, 260. “thy other banished son, with this d. sight struck pale and bloodless,” Tit. III, 1, 257 (unless Hanmer be right here in writing dire
Used of persons, == zealous, earnest, ardent, in a good as well as bad sense: “bountiful Fortune, now my d. lady,” Tp. I, 2, 179. “with no less nobility of love than that which --est father bears his son,” Hml. I, 2, 111. “which art my nearest and --est enemy,” H4A III, 2, 123. “would I had met my --est foe in heaven,” Hml. I, 2, 182.*
6) inmost, vital: “summon up your --est spirits,” LLL II, 1. “to my d. doting heart thou art the fairest and most precious jewel,” Sonn. 131, 3. “my d. heart's --er heart,” Err. III, 2, 62. “I'll empty all these veins and shed my d. blood drop by drop in the dust,” H4A I, 3, 134. (cf. Mids. III, 2, 97. H6A III, 4, 40. H6C I, 1, 223. V, 1, 69). “though that her jesses were my d. heart-strings,” Oth. III, 3, 261. “since my d. soul was mistress of her choice,” Hml. III, 2, 68. “love is my sin, and thy d. virtue hate,” Sonn. 142, 1.
Hence == true, very: “I love none. A d. happiness to women,” Ado I, 1, 129. “this is d. mercy, and thou seest it not,” Rom. III, 3, 28 (Q1 mere).
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