\ 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 Videos posted online showed entire neighborhoods covered in waist-deep water and vehicles floating in the muddy mire. Fox News, 21 July 2021 In the mire of America’s racial reckoning, Shop Circulate is bringing the vision of Tulsa’s Black Wall Street into the digital age. Joshua Burrell, Forbes, 3 June 2021 Minow adeptly contrasted the shining technological advances of the ‘60s with the muck and mire of TV programming. Michael Hiltzik, Los Angeles Times, 6 May 2021 In essence, the art of connecting has been lost in the mire of the new normal. Ira Bedzow, Forbes, 20 Apr. 2021 Vasyugan mire is found in the western plains of this large Russian region known for its extreme cold. Jason Gay, WSJ, 7 Apr. 2021 Local officials blame inaction on a mire of overlapping jurisdictions and divided responsibility. Susan Du, Star Tribune, 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, 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, 21 Mar. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb But his book doesn’t mire itself in the latest bioethics debates, most of which have become dizzyingly complex in the past few years. Nora Kenney, National Review, 22 July 2021 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, 4 Aug. 2020 That will mire things in court systems and probably won’t be settled until years from now. Dallas News, 23 June 2020 All of these factors are serious and could mire the United States in a deep, prolonged recession. Frank Partnoy, The Atlantic, 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, 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, 26 May 2020 The United States is mired in one of the most immiserating peacetime moments in its history. Robinson Meyer, The Atlantic, 8 May 2020 Without proper habits of mind, Bacon argued, society would be mired in ignorance and failure. Richard Gunderman, The Conversation, 1 May 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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Dictionary Entries Near mire



mire crow

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Statistics for mire

Last Updated

25 Jul 2021

Cite this Entry

“Mire.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/mire. Accessed 3 Aug. 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

More from Merriam-Webster on mire

Nglish: Translation of mire for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of mire for Arabic Speakers


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