\ ˈmī(-ə)r How to pronounce mire (audio) \

Definition of mire

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : wet spongy earth (as of a bog or marsh) the mire is relieved only by small stretches of open dry forestSaturday Review
2 : heavy often deep mud or slush The troops trudged onward through the mire.
3 : a troublesome or intractable situation found themselves in a mire of debt


mired; miring

Definition of mire (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

1a : to cause to stick fast in or as if in mire The car was mired in the muck.
b : to hamper or hold back as if by mire : entangle The company has been mired in legal problems.
2 : to cover or soil with mire his mired boots

intransitive verb

: to stick or sink in mire a road in which horses and wagons mired regularly— Edmund Arnold

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Other Words from mire


miry \ ˈmīr-​ē How to pronounce mire (audio) \ adjective

Synonyms & Antonyms for mire

Synonyms: Noun

Synonyms: Verb

Antonyms: Verb

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Examples of mire in a Sentence

Noun The troops marched onward through the muck and the mire. played on a football field that was thick with mire Verb the sight of the standard, which had emerged from the battle mangled and mired, still stirred the soldiers' hearts the case has been mired in probate court for years
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun In essence, the art of connecting has been lost in the mire of the new normal. Ira Bedzow, Forbes, "How To Connect In A Post-Pandemic World," 20 Apr. 2021 Vasyugan mire is found in the western plains of this large Russian region known for its extreme cold. Jason Gay, WSJ, "This NFL Superstar Wants to Be the Full-Time Host of ‘Jeopardy!’," 7 Apr. 2021 Local officials blame inaction on a mire of overlapping jurisdictions and divided responsibility. Susan Du, Star Tribune, "Crash that injured cyclist is latest incident at troubled south Minneapolis intersection," 31 Mar. 2021 In the mid-19th century, gold was discovered beneath the mire, and the landowner, Count Alexey Stenbok-Fermor, hired laborers to mine the open-air site for ore. New York Times, "How the World’s Oldest Wooden Sculpture Is Reshaping Prehistory," 22 Mar. 2021 By Hoback’s own admission, his perception has been tweaked by his immersion in an online mire of grandiose role-playing and feverish delusion. Sophie Gilbert, The Atlantic, "Whom Is the New QAnon Docuseries For?," 21 Mar. 2021 What is clear, though, is that anyone stepping into the mayoral shoes will be tasked with steering the city through a mire of critical issues. Emily Goodykoontz, Anchorage Daily News, "Anchorage Mayor Ethan Berkowitz has resigned. What happens next?," 15 Oct. 2020 Fowler knows his way around a local musician’s mire. Matt Wake | Mwake@al.com, al, "This Alabama musician’s best song is actually a book," 12 Oct. 2020 The letter adds to the confusion around a mire of investigations and legal disputes that came to public attention this month when seven top lawyer’s in Paxton’s office accused him of bribery, abuse of office and other crimes. Dallas News, "Donor threatens to sue embattled Texas AG over dropped case," 12 Oct. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb But several issues would mire the road to reopening in the museum, including issues with the building’s roof and fire safety. Shauna Stuart | Sstuart@al.com, al, "Go inside the reopened Michael’s Restaurant in downtown Birmingham," 4 Aug. 2020 That will mire things in court systems and probably won’t be settled until years from now. Dallas News, "What’s next for MLB? Evan Grant answers questions about a season unlike any other and what it means for the Rangers," 23 June 2020 All of these factors are serious and could mire the United States in a deep, prolonged recession. Frank Partnoy, The Atlantic, "The Looming Bank Collapse," 10 June 2020 Even McGinnis, mired in a shooting slump through the first five games, came alive with 12 of 23 shooting from the field and 28 points. oregonlive, "‘A team all the way’: Recalling the Portland Trail Blazers’ NBA championship, 43 years later," 5 June 2020 Now, as then, the US is mired in gloom, amid a pandemic that will likely claim its 100,000th victim this week and the worst economic crisis since the 1930s. Stephen Collinson, CNN, "A space launch 'saved' 1968. If only it could do the same for 2020," 26 May 2020 The United States is mired in one of the most immiserating peacetime moments in its history. Robinson Meyer, The Atlantic, "There’s Only One Way Out of This Mess," 8 May 2020 Without proper habits of mind, Bacon argued, society would be mired in ignorance and failure. Richard Gunderman, The Conversation, "The ‘first scientist’s’ 800-year-old tonic for what ails us: The truth," 1 May 2020 Many islanders are mired in poverty and receive little support from the Chilean government. Benjamin Lowy, New York Times, "Reveling in the Enigmatic Beauty of Easter Island," 27 Apr. 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'mire.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of mire


14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1


15th century, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1a

History and Etymology for mire

Noun and Verb

Middle English, from Old Norse mȳrr; akin to Old English mōs marsh — more at moss

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Time Traveler for mire

Time Traveler

The first known use of mire was in the 14th century

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Statistics for mire

Last Updated

2 May 2021

Cite this Entry

“Mire.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/mire. Accessed 9 May. 2021.

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More Definitions for mire



English Language Learners Definition of mire

: thick and deep mud


\ ˈmīr How to pronounce mire (audio) \

Kids Definition of mire

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: heavy deep mud


mired; miring

Kids Definition of mire (Entry 2 of 2)

: to stick or cause to become stuck in or as if in heavy deep mud A wagon was mired in the swamp.


\ ˈmī(ə)r How to pronounce mire (audio) \

Medical Definition of mire

: any of the objects on the arm of an ophthalmometer that are used to measure astigmatism by the reflections they produce in the cornea when illuminated

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More from Merriam-Webster on mire

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for mire

Nglish: Translation of mire for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of mire for Arabic Speakers

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