One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
1Dearly loved, greatly beloved.
2Chiefly in or with reference to royal letters, decrees, etc., prefixed to the name or designation of a lord: highly esteemed or honoured. Usually in "(right) trusty and well-beloved".
A dearly loved person. Chiefly with possessive adjective.
Late Middle English; earliest use found in Geoffrey Chaucer (c1340–1400), poet and administrator. From well + beloved.
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