Quantcast
Merriam-Webster Logo
  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
  • Scrabble
  • Spanish Central
  • Learner's Dictionary
1

mere

play
noun \ˈmir\

Definition of mere

chiefly British

  1. :  an expanse of standing water :  lake, pool



Origin and Etymology of mere

Middle English, from Old English — more at marine


First Known Use: before 12th century


2

mere

noun

Definition of mere

  1. :  boundary; also :  landmark



Origin and Etymology of mere

Middle English, from Old English mǣre; akin to Old Norse landamæri borderland


First Known Use: before 12th century


3

mere

adjective

Simple Definition of mere

  • —used to say that something or someone is small, unimportant, etc.

  • —used to say that something small is important or has a big effect or influence

Source: Merriam-Webster's Learner's Dictionary

Full Definition of mere

superlative

merest

  1. 1 :  having no admixture :  pure

  2. 2 obsolete :  being nothing less than :  absolute

  3. 3 :  being nothing more than <a mere mortal> <a mere hint of spice>

merely

adverb

Examples of mere in a sentence

  1. <the mere idea of your traveling alone to Europe is ridiculous>



Origin and Etymology of mere

Middle English, from Latin merus; akin to Old English āmerian to purify and perhaps to Greek marmairein to sparkle — more at morn


First Known Use: 15th century


-mere

noun combining form

Definition of -mere

  1. :  part :  segment <metamere>



Origin and Etymology of -mere

French -mère, from Greek meros part — more at merit


MERE Defined for Kids

mere

play
adjective \ˈmir\

Definition of mere for Students

superlative

merest

  1. :  nothing more than <mere rumors> <a mere child>





Seen and Heard

What made you want to look up mere? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

mysterious, holy, or spiritual

Get Word of the Day daily email!

WORD GAMES

Take a 3-minute break and test your skills!

lavender-fields-in-france

Which of these is a synonym of caesura?

torrent megillah rebellion interruption
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

TAKE THE QUIZ
SCRABBLE® Sprint

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ