near and dear to (one)

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near and dear to (one)

Of great importance to and held in very high esteem by one. Literature has been near and dear to me since high school. It's important to have people in your life who are near and dear to you.
See also: and, dear, near
References in periodicals archive ?
Near and dear to Piscopo's heart is Jersey Joe's Gyms, a Newark program involving the city's police department and Boys & Girls Club.