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

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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

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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.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun The outdoor space at the nature center, which used to be surrounded by barbed-wire fencing, now features a seating area with bistro tables and chairs where community members can gather to view the lake and gardens. cleveland, 7 June 2021 The sensor wire extends six feet and can be lengthened for hard to reach areas. Chris Hachey, BGR, 7 June 2021 Then the hackers took a legitimate invoice that the member organization had emailed to Ms. Williams and sent it to her again, changing the accompanying wire-transfer instructions to a bank in Odessa, Texas, from a California bank. James Rundle, WSJ, 7 June 2021 State fire marshals found a wire cable wrapped around the woman’s neck multiple times. baltimoresun.com, 6 June 2021 So for Saturday night’s Game 4, that left Cassidy turning to Jarred Tinordi, the waiver-wire pickup from Nashville who played Game 5 of the Washington series after Kevan Miller took a high hit from Dmitry Orlov. BostonGlobe.com, 5 June 2021 The instructions are pleasingly specific, down to the number of cinder blocks, the lengths of rebar and welded wire mesh (chicken wire is frowned upon), along with the necessary hammer, angle grinder, and safety goggles. Joe Ray, Wired, 5 June 2021 Leatherman’s heavy-duty stainless-steel multitool ($129.95) has 21 tools, including wire cutters and scissors. oregonlive, 4 June 2021 Providing exceptions to politicians’ speech has placed them in a special, unaccountable class, where Facebook becomes less a news wire or RSS feed of political updates than a tool for propagandizing and incitement at scale. Jacob Silverman, The New Republic, 4 June 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb If the goal was to wire only 98 percent, the price tag would fall to $40 billion. New York Times, 1 June 2021 In contrast, other work has focused not on the genetic code, but rather how spontaneous neural activity - billions of electrical impulses - shape how networks and circuits of interconnected neurons ultimately wire up. Gabriel A. Silva, Forbes, 27 May 2021 Lack of action to fix bridges and wire rural communities? Philip Elliott, Time, 19 May 2021 Plenty of Fish, a Canadian online dating service, was one of the platforms that Johnson used to contact women and persuade them to wire him money. baltimoresun.com, 23 May 2021 Would One Treasure Island kindly wire the money instead to Frost Bank in Odessa, Texas? Nanette Asimov, San Francisco Chronicle, 20 May 2021 By 6:59, the Blues doubled their lead after Schwartz peeled off the wall to take a clear path to the net and wire a shot over Kahkonen. Sarah Mclellan, Star Tribune, 9 Apr. 2021 Carey and her husband David’s cord-cutting decision to work remotely and pre-wire their life to function anywhere before COVID hit—while seemingly prescient now—isn’t actually anything new. Peter Lane Taylor, Forbes, 7 Apr. 2021 Solder the positive and negative—red and black, respectively—wire to the power cable on the receiver. Bradley Ford, Popular Mechanics, 29 Mar. 2021

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.

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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

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Time Traveler for wire

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for wire

Last Updated

9 Jun 2021

Cite this Entry

“Wire.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/wire. Accessed 14 Jun. 2021.

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More Definitions for wire



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



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)


\ 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


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