wire

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

wire

verb
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

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from wire

Noun

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

Verb

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

Synonyms for wire

Synonyms: Noun

cable, cord, lace, lacing, line, rope, string

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

Photo: Dominic Lipinski/PA wire/Associated Press The hope among many Conservatives is that with the backing of the party at large Mr. Johnson will have a stronger mandate to push through his Brexit ideas. Max Colchester, WSJ, "Boris Johnson Takes Another Step Closer to U.K. Leadership," 20 June 2019 Participants adorn dowels, branches, and twigs with fabrics, trims, wire, ribbons, clay, seashells and a wide variety of embellishments symbolizing the healing process. San Diego Union-Tribune, "Brother Benno’s puts on ‘Sip and Paint’ fundraiser," 19 June 2019 Doctors inserted two plates, wires, and screws into his jaw and played the rest of the series with a custom jaw protector attached to his helmet. Brandon Chase, BostonGlobe.com, "Zdeno Chara responds to Bruins fans on Instagram: ‘I can still hear the overwhelming cheers’," 16 June 2019 Instead of spending time and money establishing a broadband connection using undersea wires, this plan has proven more effective for Arranmore. Currie Engel, Time, "This Remote Irish Island Is Hoping To Lure New Residents," 14 June 2019 Kelliher-Combs used all natural materials creating hollow cones attached to strings: sheep and goat rawhide, wool yarn, steel wire, beeswax and nylon thread. Kathy Berdan, Twin Cities, "Minneapolis Institute of Art exhibit is first to honor Native women artists," 7 June 2019 Detecting telephone wires, people, property and even small animals on the ground all require careful sensing and collision avoidance systems. NBC News, "Amazon debuts its new delivery drone, says it will begin operation 'within months'," 6 June 2019 Doing so wires the brain for retention, because words are labels for clusters of experiences acquired over a lifetime. Quanta Magazine, "How the Brain Links Gestures, Perception and Meaning," 25 Mar. 2019 Titan Survivorcord is a paracord that includes fishing line, snare wire, and a strand of jute twine infused with wax, for fire-starting. Jamie Lauren Keiles, Vox, "What doomsday preppers are buying this Black Friday," 21 Nov. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

There was no catching the gate to wire winner but a nice performance by Heather’s Grey. John Cherwa, latimes.com, "Racing! Jon White’s final Belmont Stakes rankings," 7 June 2019 The ever-combative Trump, who lives in his own reality, isn’t wired to survive such an open-ended grilling. Willie Brown, San Francisco Chronicle, "Trump’s only hope is to keep quiet and dodge Mueller," 5 May 2018 Most vintage equipment is also skillfully hand-wired point-to-point—shortening the distances signals must flow, minimizing interference and noise in the circuits. John Clarke, WSJ, "Addicted to Audio: Why Music Obsessives Blow Their 401Ks Chasing Down Vintage Gear," 18 Oct. 2018 They're wired with repeaters by the satellite companies, which boost the signal in places satellites have a tough time reaching (think urban canyons between skyscrapers). Heather Newman, ELLE Decor, "Radio Revamp," 5 July 2012 But some Canadians are rethinking the privacy implications of giving one of the most data-hungry companies on the planet the means to wire up everything from streetlights to pavement. Rob Gillies, The Seattle Times, "Google’s plans for first wired urban community raise data-privacy concerns," 2 Oct. 2018 Early investors in Petro were invited to buy the cryptocurrency by wiring funds to a Venezuelan government account at Evrofinance, according to the department. Mengqi Sun, WSJ, "U.S. Places Sanctions on Moscow-Based Evrofinance Mosnarbank," 11 Mar. 2019 The pair alleged that, unbeknownst to them, Biffle had recorded them with cameras wired in the master bedroom, bathroom, and a guest room, of the couple’s North Carolina home, the Charlotte Observer reported. Elizabeth Zwirz, Fox News, "Ex-NASCAR driver Greg Biffle ordered to pay ex-wife $1 for personal recordings, jury decides," 14 Aug. 2018 Members of the Abroad for Yes group wired donations to people no longer living in Ireland. Saphora Smith /, NBC News, "Voting underway in Ireland's abortion referendum," 25 May 2018

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.

See More

First Known Use of wire

Noun

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

Verb

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

History and Etymology for wire

Noun

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"

Verb

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about wire

Dictionary Entries near wire

wiping rod

wir

wirable

wire

wire agency

wirebar

wirebird

Statistics for wire

Last Updated

25 Jun 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for wire

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

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for wire

wire

noun

English Language Learners Definition of wire

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: a thin, flexible thread of metal
: a thread of metal that is covered with plastic, rubber, etc., and used to send or receive electricity or electrical signals
US : a small microphone that is worn under clothing in order to secretly record a conversation

wire

verb

English Language Learners Definition of wire (Entry 2 of 2)

: to provide (a building, room, etc.) with wires for a particular service or for electricity
: to connect (a device) to another device by using wires
: to use wire to close or hold (something)

wire

noun
\ 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

wire

verb
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

wire

noun
\ 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

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on wire

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with wire

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for wire

Spanish Central: Translation of wire

Nglish: Translation of wire for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of wire for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about wire

Comments on wire

What made you want to look up wire? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

to take the place or position of

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Words for Summer: A Quiz

  • a closeup of a sunflower
  • Which of the following words means “of or relating to summer”?
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

TAKE THE QUIZ
SCRABBLE® Sprint

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

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