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From be- +‎ dear.



bedear (third-person singular simple present bedears, present participle bedearing, simple past and past participle bedeared)

  1. (transitive) To make or hold dear; endear.
    • 1872, Augusta Webster, The auspicious day:
      I have been too nice. The coaxing minx, she loves me, cannot hide it, Has but half heart to try. Coy as she is, Her looks are kisses and her voice bedears me, Though she but say "Good day, sir."
  2. (transitive) To say "dear" to; address as "dear".
    • 1862, Richard Holt Hutton, Walter Bagehot, The National review:
      The "dears" had such a hard time of it, that they ended by keeping purposely away from the court-receptions, while, on the other hand, the legion of insignificant people with the von to their name commenced bedearing each other to their hearts content.
    • 1922, Hearst's international:
      Highland had fallen into the habit of casually bedearing Mary when there were people about. "Well, dear," he said, "how about it?" "Oh," she said, "I think it's a lovely place, and so clean and tidy, and the sea, and all — I'd love to stay."