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: intense and usually openly displayed anger
ire transitive verb
ireful adjective


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Choose the Right Synonym for ire

anger, ire, rage, fury, indignation, wrath mean an intense emotional state induced by displeasure.

anger, the most general term, names the reaction but by itself does not convey cause or intensity.

tried to hide his anger

ire, more frequent in literary contexts, suggests an intense anger, often with an evident display of feeling.

cheeks flushed with ire

rage and fury suggest loss of self-control from violence of emotion.

shook with rage
could not contain his fury

indignation stresses righteous anger at what one considers unfair, mean, or shameful.

a comment that caused general indignation

wrath is likely to suggest a desire or intent to punish or get revenge.

I feared her wrath if I was discovered

Examples of ire in a Sentence

Noun He directed his ire at the coworkers who reported the incident. the patronizing comment from the snooty waiter roused her ire
Recent Examples on the Web
However, recently resurfaced clips have shown Franke downplaying the seriousness of eating disorders, blaming rape victims, and criticizing U.S. immigrants alongside Hildebrandt, among other social and political comments that drew the ire of many viewers. Sean Neumann, Peoplemag, 18 Sep. 2023 While Graham and Norman are allies of former President Donald Trump, the former has faced ire from the base over some of his centrist stances. Emily Jacobs, Washington Examiner, 13 Sep. 2023 Others find themselves in the opposite position and can become the object of the football community’s ire. Chris Bumbaca, USA TODAY, 7 Sep. 2023 Arizona State president Michael Crow also drew ire for his role in the ongoing saga. Jeremy Cluff, The Arizona Republic, 29 Aug. 2023 His cocksure attitude also clearly drove their ire at Wednesday night’s debate. Seema Mehta, Los Angeles Times, 24 Aug. 2023 Pheu Thai is set to take the helm of a precarious coalition government of former enemies, betraying much of its own base as well as earning the ire of a large and growing progressive movement. Time, 22 Aug. 2023 Lewis drew the ire of L.A. players and fans in January when his officiating crew did not send LeBron James to the free-throw line at the end of regulation despite the Lakers star appearing to be hit on the arm while shooting by Boston’s Jayson Tatum. Chuck Schilken, Los Angeles Times, 30 Aug. 2023 But the city would likely have to tap its rainy day fund, which would surely draw the ire of the ratings agencies. Globe Columnist,, 22 Aug. 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'ire.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History



Middle English, from Anglo-French, from Latin ira; perhaps akin to Greek oistros gadfly, frenzy

First Known Use


14th century, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of ire was in the 14th century

Dictionary Entries Near ire

Cite this Entry

“Ire.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 22 Sep. 2023.

Kids Definition


ire verb
ireful adjective

More from Merriam-Webster on ire

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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