noun, often attributive
\ ˈwī(-ə)r How to pronounce wire (audio) \

Definition of wire

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1a : metal in the form of a usually very flexible thread or slender rod
b : a thread or rod of such material
2a : wirework
b : the meshwork of parallel or woven wire on which the wet web of paper forms
3 : something (such as a thin plant stem) that is wirelike
4 wires plural
a : a system of wires used to operate the puppets in a puppet show
b : hidden influences controlling the action of a person or organization
5a : a line of wire for conducting electric current — compare cord sense 3b
b : a telephone or telegraph wire or system especially : wire service
6 : fencing or a fence of usually barbed wire
7a : the finish line of a race
b : the final decisive moment (as of a contest) the negotiations came down to the wire
8 : wirehair
under the wire
1 : at the finish line
2 : at the last moment
wire to wire or from wire to wire
: from start to finish led the race wire to wire


wired; wiring

Definition of wire (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

1 : to provide with wire : use wire on for a specific purpose
2 : to send or send word to by telegraph
3 : to connect by or as if by a wire
4 : to predispose, determine, or establish genetically or innately controversy over the extent to which human violence is wired biologically

intransitive verb

: to send a telegraphic message

Other Words from wire


wirelike \ ˈwī(-​ə)r-​ˌlīk How to pronounce wire (audio) \ adjective


wirer \ ˈwī(-​ə)r-​ər How to pronounce wire (audio) \ noun

Synonyms for wire

Synonyms: Noun

Visit the Thesaurus for More 

Examples of wire in a Sentence

Noun The flowers were bound together with thin wire. There was a wire sticking out of the chair. A telephone wire had fallen on the road during the storm. A short black wire connects the computer's monitor to its keyboard. The undercover officer wore a wire to her meeting with the drug dealer. Verb The house will be wired next week. My room is wired for cable. The microphone is wired to the speaker. You can wire the generator to a car battery. Her jaw was wired shut after the accident. She wired the money home to Canada. Can you wire me $300? When you get in to town, wire me. See More
Recent Examples on the Web: Noun If the root ball appears to be loose, remove the wire basket and burlap after the tree is positioned in the planting hole. Tim Johnson, Chicago Tribune, 14 May 2022 Other highlights include a thick wire mesh fiberglass gasket, slide-out ash drawer, and the grill is set on a cast-iron cart with locking wheels. Rachel Klein, Popular Mechanics, 13 May 2022 Internet and wire reports contributed to this report. Los Angeles Times, 13 May 2022 The driver and passenger seat wire harness could become damaged during horizontal seat adjustment. Detroit Free Press, 13 May 2022 Another worker drove an excavator into an electrical wire on his first day on the job, knocking out power to 31,000 homes and businesses on the New Jersey coast, according to a police report and the local power company. Douglas Macmillan, Washington Post, 13 May 2022 The driver and passenger seat wire harness could become damaged during horizontal seat adjustment. USA TODAY, 13 May 2022 Barebones Living adds a bit of vintage panache to its Forest Lantern with a durable, stamped steel exterior, traditional wire cage, and soft ambient lantern glow. Mike Richard, Men's Health, 13 May 2022 Large wire-and-concrete sculptures inhabit the beach. Peter Valdes-dapena, CNN, 11 May 2022 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb In fact, the 24-year-old has been working on restoring a 1969 Ford SUV and chronicled the project on her TikTok account @syds_garage, sharing videos of everything from rebuilding the back axel to wire brushing rust. Jordi Lippe-mcgraw, Forbes, 21 Apr. 2022 If all is in order, Garcia said, the buyer will wire the remaining down payment and the escrow officer will close the deal by telling the title company to record the deed. Los Angeles Times, 29 Mar. 2022 Indian exporters hope the mechanism could release money they are owed by Russian clients, who cannot wire cash internationally because of the Swift restrictions. Andrew Stuttaford, National Review, 19 Mar. 2022 Those construction management firms traditionally don’t get paid to excavate the sites, pour the foundations, erect the walls, wire the buildings or install the plumbing for school projects in Connecticut. Andrew Brown, courant.com, 12 Mar. 2022 In response to Liu's false representations, students would wire money to Wisconsin International Education. Bruce Vielmetti, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 12 Feb. 2022 If for much of the 20th century radio and television piped war’s horrors into our living rooms, and this century has seen social media posts and video clips bring them to our pockets, these new technologies will wire them directly into our minds. Washington Post, 2 Mar. 2022 Their older children, who all live outside the country, offered to wire money, but with a cash crunch there was no way to withdraw it. Loveday Morris, Anchorage Daily News, 1 Mar. 2022 Drills and exercises require focus to ensure they are being executed properly, and the mental attention helps wire the actions in the brain to improve movement patterns. Carl Leivers, Outside Online, 20 Sep. 2019 See More

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

First Known Use of wire


before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a


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

History and Etymology for wire


Middle English wir, wyre, going back to Old English wīr, going back to Germanic *wīra-, whence Middle Low German wire "flexible metal, filigree," Old Norse vír-, in víravirki "filigree work," and (with presumed lowering of ī to ē2 before r) Old High German wiara, wiera "fine gold, ornament of gold filigree," going back to a nominal derivative with a suffix -r- from Indo-European *u̯ei̯H- "plait, wrap," whence Latin vieō, viēre "to plait, weave," Old Church Slavic poviti "to wrap up, bind," Lithuanian výti "to twist," and probably to Sanskrit vyayati "(it) covers, envelops," vīta- "covered, hidden"


Middle English *wiren (in past participle y-wyred), derivative of wyr, wire wire entry 1

Learn More About wire

Time Traveler for wire

Time Traveler

The first known use of wire was before the 12th century

See more words from the same century

Dictionary Entries Near wire



wire agency

See More Nearby Entries 

Statistics for wire

Last Updated

16 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Wire.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/wire. Accessed 17 May. 2022.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

More Definitions for wire


\ ˈwīr How to pronounce wire (audio) \

Kids Definition of wire

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : metal in the form of a thread or slender rod
2 : a number of strands grouped together and used to send or receive electrical signals
3 : telegram


wired; wiring

Kids Definition of wire (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : to provide or equip with wire An electrician wired the house.
2 : to bind with wire
3 : to send or send word to by telegraph


\ ˈwī(ə)r How to pronounce wire (audio) \

Medical Definition of wire

: metal thread or a rod used in surgery to suture soft tissue or transfix fractured bone and in orthodontic dentistry to position teeth

Other Words from wire

wire transitive verb wired; wiring

More from Merriam-Webster on wire

Nglish: Translation of wire for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of wire for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about wire


Test Your Vocabulary

Eponyms: Words Named After People

Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!