Dare vs Dear: Difference and Comparison

Homophones are two words with the same sound but different spellings. When two words have different spellings but sound almost the same we call them homophones. People confuse homophones often.

Some words do sound the same but differ in a few letters. These types of terms are also confusing at times. However, they have different meanings. Hence, it is crucial to know the difference between such terms.

Key Takeaways

  1. Dare is a verb meaning to challenge or to have the courage to do something, while dear is an adjective expressing affection or high regard.
  2. Dare is also a noun referring to a challenge or a risky action someone takes.
  3. Dear can be used as an endearment or an informal salutation in written communication.

Dare VS Dear

Dare is a verb that means to have the courage or confidence to do something. It can also refer to a challenge or provocation to do something. Dear is an adjective that means beloved or cherished. It can also mean expensive or high-priced. Dare is a verb t, while dear is an adjective.

Dare VS Dear

The word Dare refers to valor. Poets like Shakespeare have used it in their work. Dare also has another usage. It means to challenge others.


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In the sentence, I dare you to do it the speaker demands the subject to express bravery. Since it is a semi modal verb, it is used with an auxiliary verb.

A dearest person is someone close to heart. Not only people but also things can be dear to one. Some people hold their hometown dear.

Some may have a dearest personal heirloom passed to them by their ancestors. Regarding something or someone as dear is greatly dependent on the personal preferences of the speaker.

Comparison Table

Parameters of ComparisonDareDear
Time of Origin16 century7 century
UsageSemi modal verb, NounNoun or Adjective
Derived fromDurenDeoare
MeaningCourage, braveryValued, loved

What is Dare?

Dare takes different tense forms depending on the usage. The past tense of dare is ‘dared’. Another past form of this word is Durst, Which is not in usage now.

It is rare and only found in the literature of a particular period. Dares is used as an ordinary verb. As a modal verb, it becomes daring.

The sentence She dared to speak up indicates the subject’s courage to speak. She daren’t come here again uses the term negatively.

This implies the person’s lack of courage. Americans don’t use the word daren’t instead, they say dare not. Dare has flexible usage.

When indicating a past action or incident it is always said as did not dare. An example of this is She did not dare cross the boundary again.

Fictional characters have Dare as their surname. This term has also served as the title for Novels and Films. Albums and songs have been named Dare.

A party game called Truth or Dare involves daring a person. Here the opponent is either dared to do a thing or asked to speak the truth.

Daring the person includes asking them to do a funny or embarrassing act. Thus dare is used in terms of games. Daring someone indicates questioning their bravery to do something many would resist doing.


What is Dear?

The word Dear derives its origin from the old English word Deoare. It originated back around the 7th century. At that period, it had the meaning precious.

It refers to things that are costly and valuable. Deoare originated from the German word deurijaz meaning valuable., based on the Chamber Dictionary of Etymology.

Though the present meaning of dear is loved, it was not the scenario in the past. It was regarded as esteemed or valued at that time. This term has been used since medieval times.

English speakers in the Middle Ages used dear as a formal or intimate salutation. Citations show the use of dear in the 1300s.

But the dear we use now is formal and friendly. We cannot use it while talking to someone we least know. Writing dear in letters began in the 15th century.

Queen Margaret of Anjou is believed to be the first to use the term dear in a Letter. Dear was then prefixed by My, and then terms like Dear friend became My dear friend.

Dear is used in many different ways. The most common place is to refer to the people we love. It is also used along with other worlds like Dearly beloved.

People call their family members and friends dear. It does not apply to people you hate. Some people use it to call strangers.


Main Differences Between Dare and Dear

  1. Dare implies the courage of a person. On the other hand, Dear is used to express affection
  2. If someone dares you, they challenge your courage and want you to do something brave. Whereas when someone calls you Dear or My Dear. It means that the person holds you, Dear
  3. Dare originated somewhere in the 16th century Whereas, Dear originated in the 7th century. The word Dear is older than Dare
  4. Dare was derived from the old English word Duren or Daren, meaning to have courage. While dear was derived from the word Deoare
  5. Dare is a semi modal verb and should be used along with auxiliaries. Auxiliaries like ‘to’ are used. It is also a Noun. Dear can be either used as a noun or as an adjective.
Difference Between Dare and Dear
  1. https://psycnet.apa.org/record/1977-00338-001
  2. https://www.pdcnet.org/epoche/content/epoche_2006_0010_0002_0237_0262
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