\ 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 miry (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 Steady rain penetrated the jungle canopy, and along the mire, open shells of kukui nuts were half filled with water. Tom Stienstra, SFChronicle.com, "On the hunt for Kauai’s wild pigs," 11 Oct. 2019 That history is among the strokes Donahue hopes will paint the scene of an Audrey already in the midst of great change, even if audiences meet her in the sticky mire of an abusive relationship with a dentist (Matthew Wilkas). Marc Snetiker, EW.com, "In Mj Rodriguez's Audrey, a big step for a Little Shop," 24 Sep. 2019 Northern European countries shelter large expanses of peatlands—sometimes called moors, bogs or mires—that perhaps offer the greatest opportunity for natural climate mitigation. Ciara Nugent / Wallasea Island, Time, "The Best Way to Save Nature? More Nature," 12 Sep. 2019 Armored trucks rumble over squishy mud, combat boots trample through rain and mire. Deborah Young, The Hollywood Reporter, "'Atlantis': Film Review | Venice 2019," 7 Sep. 2019 To follow the shadowy mire of this saga, which potentially implicates scores of individuals and involves layers of misdirection, is to yearn for an ever-elusive clarity. Naomi Fry, The New Yorker, "The Gall of Ghislaine Maxwell," 16 Aug. 2019 But perhaps out of fear of being dragged back into the mire of racial theory, science classes today are largely silent on biology and identity—avoiding the legacy of racial science rather than actively teaching against it. Charles King, Time, "American Students Are Taught Racism Is Bad—But They're Still Not Learning the Truth About Race," 6 Aug. 2019 The Sergeant' pulled Lazio out of the mire on countless occasions, dragging his over-achieving side kicking and screaming up the Serie A table. SI.com, "Sergej Milinković-Savić: Lazio's Star Midfielder Is the Complete Midfielder Man Utd Need," 25 July 2019 Much of the first half confines the action to the murk, muck, mire and thrashings in the crawlspace. Michael Phillips, chicagotribune.com, "‘The Crawl’ review: Chicago, your alligator movie has arrived. Capture that Humboldt Park lagoon creature NOW!!!," 12 July 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Obey and Sunseeker are mired in a legal dispute that Obey claims started when the manufacturer refused to take responsibility for a catastrophic engine failure on the maiden voyage of one of Obey’s customers in May 2018. Ron Hurtibise, sun-sentinel.com, "Yacht placed ‘under arrest’ at boat show over $4 million dispute," 5 Nov. 2019 The Astros are mired in a controversy not because of Taubman, though, but because his bosses tried to smear the reporter, Stephanie Apstein, who wrote about his behavior. Dennis Young, courant.com, "Yankees broadcaster Suzyn Waldman hasn’t watched the World Series because of the Astros’ lies," 27 Oct. 2019 Much of east Alabama was still mired in moderate to extreme drought, according to the report, which was released Thursday. Leigh Morgan, al, "Some improvement in drought conditions in Alabama this week," 24 Oct. 2019 The Broncos are mired at 2-5 and dealt Demaryius Thomas to Houston last October for a fourth-round pick. Andrew Callahan, The Denver Post, "Patriots expected to be in the market for Broncos WR Emmanuel Sanders, per report," 20 Oct. 2019 The richest person in the state, Justice owns a complex business empire of coal and agricultural entities that are perennially mired in litigation, often over unpaid bills. BostonGlobe.com, "There is no evidence Governor Jim Justice did anything illegal. But at least one analyst said the payments to the richest man in West Virginia are unseemly, given his wealth. And the subsidies have thrown the spotlight again on his business empire and the potential conflicts of interest it poses.," 18 Oct. 2019 The richest person in the state, Justice owns a complex business empire of coal and agricultural entities that are perennially mired in litigation, often over unpaid bills. Washington Post, "APNewsBreak: Billionaire governor’s family farms get subsidy," 17 Oct. 2019 Justice, the richest person in the state, owns a complex business empire of coal and agricultural entities that are perennially mired in litigation, often over unpaid bills. chicagotribune.com, "Billionaire West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice’s family farm got $125,000 from subsidy program meant to help farmers through China trade war," 17 Oct. 2019 He is mired in the muck of Naples, yet somehow as pure as a saint all the same. Ryu Spaeth, The New Republic, "The Tragedy of Diego Maradona," 10 Oct. 2019

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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Statistics for mire

Last Updated

12 Nov 2019

Time Traveler for mire

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

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More Definitions for mire


How to pronounce mire (audio)

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

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with mire

Spanish Central: Translation of mire

Nglish: Translation of mire for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of mire for Arabic Speakers

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