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Related to dearer: tete-a-tete, Dearling, revellers

after you, my dear Alphonse

A phrase typically said when two people try to do the same thing at the same time. It derives from the 1920s comic strip Happy Hooligan, which featured two very well-mannered Frenchmen, Alphonse and Gaston. No, no, you go first—after you, my dear Alphonse!
See also: after, dear

dear departed

Euph. a dead person, as referred to at a funeral. Let's take a moment to meditate on the life of the dear departed.
See also: dear

a Dear John letter

a letter a woman writes to her boyfriend telling him that she does not love him anymore. Bert got a Dear John letter today from Sally. He was devastated.
See also: dear, john, letter

Dear me!

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."
See also: dear

hang on for dear life

Cliché to hang on tight. As the little plane bounced around over the mountains, we hung on for dear life.
See also: dear, hang, life

thing you don't want is dear at any price

Prov. You should not buy something just because it is cheap. Jill: There's a sale on black-and-white film; we should get some. Jane: We never use black-and-white film. Jill: But it's so cheap. Jane: A thing you don't want is dear at any price.
See also: any, dear, price, thing, want

close to your heart

also dear to your heart
of great importance to you The issue of race is one that is close to his heart.
See also: close, heart

hold on for dear life

to use a lot of effort to keep something With so few jobs available, workers are holding on for dear life to the jobs they already have.
See also: dear, hold, life

near and dear to you

very important to you People usually give more attention to the things that are particularly near and dear to them.
See also: and, dear, near

your nearest and dearest

your family My wife and dozens of her nearest and dearest are from West Virginia.
See also: and, dear, near

cost somebody dear

if something that someone does, especially something stupid, costs them dear, it causes them a lot of problems Later that year he attacked a photographer, an incident that cost him dear.
See count the cost, and hang the cost
See also: cost, dear

a Dear John letter

a letter that you send to a man telling him you want to end a romantic relationship with him I've always thought Dear John letters a cowardly way of ending a relationship.
See also: dear, john, letter

hang/hold on (to something/somebody) for dear life

to hold something or someone as tightly as you can in order to avoid falling I sat behind Gary on the bike and hung on for dear life as we sped off. A rope was passed down and she held on to it for dear life as she was pulled to safety.
See cost dear, close to heart
See also: dear, hang, life

close/dear to somebody's heart

if something is dear to someone's heart, it is very important to them Animal rights is an issue very close to my heart.
See also: close, heart

your nearest and dearest

your family When people are stressed at work, they tend to go home and take it out on their nearest and dearest.
See also: and, dear, near

dear me

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]
See also: dear

for dear life

Also, for one's life. Desperately, urgently, so as to save one's life. For example, When the boat capsized, I hung on for dear life, or With the dogs chasing them they ran for their lives, or She wanted that vase but I saw it first and hung on to it for dear life. These expressions are sometimes hyperbolic (that is, one's life may not actually be in danger). The first dates from the mid-1800s, the variant from the first half of the 1600s. Also see for the life of one.
See also: dear, life

nearest and dearest

One's closest and fondest friends, companions, or relatives, as in It's a small gathering-we're inviting only a dozen or so of our nearest and dearest. This rhyming expression has been used ironically since the late 1500s, as well as by Shakespeare in 1 Henry IV (3:2): "Why, Harry, do I tell thee of my foes, which art my nearest and dearest enemy?"
See also: and, dear, near

Dear John letter

n. a letter a woman writes to her boyfriend in the military service telling him that she does not love him anymore. Sally sends a Dear John letter about once a month.
See also: dear, john, letter

for dear life

Desperately or urgently: I ran for dear life when I saw the tiger.
See also: dear, life
References in periodicals archive ?
While her discussion of critics' complicity in erasing women is useful, it would have been helpful at points had she made dearer the historical periods in which the critics were writing.
Calls cost 25p but may be dearer if you use a mobile.
Never was this dearer than recent news reports claiming that you can achieve fitness without real exercise.
Acrylonitrile was dearer by almost 22-23% in USA, 16-17% in Europe and by 20% in Asia during 2005.
She doesn't want to go in August because it will be 60% dearer.
HCIL hatchback Brio will be dearer by ` 2,000 from the existing price of ` 4.
He said: "I have to say to you, as the leader of this party, as somebody who has given over 20 years of his life to helping build this party, while of course I want us to do well as a party and succeed in those elections there is something that is actually dearer to my heart than party politics, even if it's Ukip.
Slight rise in the year-on-year figure of Macao's TPI in quarter two of 2015 attributable to rising charges for restaurant services and dearer prices of local food products.
Along with sat nav (added with the car's most recent spec hike) there is also DAB on the radio, which clung to the signal in places where rival systems in dearer cars have given up the ghost and gone silent.
The fallout from a Yes vote will be higher bills and dearer mortgages.
Cash-conscious shoppers are choosing supermarkets' own-label sparkling wines ahead of dearer branded fizz, a report reveals.
The frozen specialist's meal is 25p dearer than last year but the 0.
But another survey suggests dearer borrowing will not stop Brits spending a record pounds 1284 each on credit cards at Christmas.
A shock new survey shows no-frills stores Lidl, Aldi and Netto are up to 61 per cent dearer for a basket of groceries compared to a similar basketful of budget label goods at the big four supermarkets.
Men who like a wash and blow-dry while having a trim pay EUR27 - EUR8 dearer than beyond the Pale.