Dear John(redirected from a Dear John)
1. noun A letter or other written communication, especially from a woman to a man, abruptly ending a romantic relationship. Mike was clearly upset when he received a Dear John from his girlfriend, Caroline. He thought their relationship was going well and didn't expect it to end so suddenly. Mail call was usually a happy time in the military barracks, except for the unlucky soldiers who got Dear Johns from their sweethearts back home.
2. adjective Used to describe such a written communication. Sarah and I agreed to date long-distance after I moved to Calgary, but I got a Dear John email about a month later telling me that we were through. Don't break up with someone through a Dear John text message. It's just so cowardly and petty.
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2022 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.
A letter or other notification calling off a romantic relationship. The term was born during World War II, when a serviceman stationed overseas received a letter from his girlfriend or wife ending their relationship. After the war it was extended to both genders and used quite loosely, sometimes even for other kinds of rejection.
The Dictionary of Clichés by Christine Ammer Copyright © 2013 by Christine Ammer