adjective \ˈdī(-ə)r\

: very bad : causing great fear or worry

: warning of disaster : showing a very bad future

: requiring immediate action : very urgent


Full Definition of DIRE

a :  exciting horror <dire suffering>
b :  dismal, oppressive <dire days>
:  warning of disaster <a dire forecast>
a :  desperately urgent <dire need>
b :  extreme <dire poverty>
dire·ly adverb
dire·ness noun

Examples of DIRE

  1. The circumstances are now more dire than ever.
  2. Some analysts are issuing dire economic forecasts.
  3. They live in dire poverty.
  4. The alleged threat posed by Yellowstone's 3,600 buffalo came from the fact that they carry brucella, a bacterium that cycles harmlessly enough in Bison bison but has considerably more dire effects on cattle. —Christopher Ketcham, Harper's , June 2008

Origin of DIRE

Latin dirus; akin to Greek deinos terrifying, Sanskrit dveṣṭi he hates
First Known Use: 1565

Rhymes with DIRE


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