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An expression of surprise or disappointment. Dear me, it seems I've forgotten the casserole I made for tonight's meeting.
an expression of mild dismay or regret. Sue: Dear me, is this all there is? Mary: There's more in the kitchen. "Oh, dear me!" fretted John, "I'm late again."
Also, oh dear. A polite exclamation expressing surprise, distress, sympathy, etc. For example, Dear me, I forgot to mail it, or Oh dear, what a bad time you've been having. These usages may originally have invoked God, as in dear God or oh God , which also continue to be so used. [Late 1600s]