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

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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. See More
Recent Examples on the Web: Noun For director Ang Lee's epic, the actress had to learn Mandarin and perform wire stunts. Kate Hogan, Peoplemag, 6 Aug. 2022 Measuring 12 feet by five feet, these multicolor green wire net lights are perfect for positioning on top of bushes, shrubs, or trees to light up your greenery with 360 LED lights. Corinne Sullivan, Woman's Day, 5 Aug. 2022 Asawa expected the children to help with household chores, gardening and preparing artistic materials, including spooling wire for her sculptures. Reagan Upshaw, Washington Post, 4 Aug. 2022 Buchmann began her journalism career at the San Jose Mercury News, where her roles included news editor, wire editor, copy editor, page designer and education reporter. Anna Buchmann, San Francisco Chronicle, 3 Aug. 2022 Sprinkle with a pinch of flaky salt, and transfer to wire racks to cool completely, about 15 minutes. People Staff, PEOPLE.com, 2 Aug. 2022 As an undrafted player the Dolphins claimed off the waiver wire last spring, Trill Williams entered camp with no hype, or expectations. Omar Kelly, Sun Sentinel, 1 Aug. 2022 And even if the graphic photos and videos were released, most major newspapers, wire services and television stations would be hesitant to use them. Terry Spencer, ajc, 31 July 2022 The attention to detail, from the wire wheels to the Smiths dashboard dials, is extraordinary. Alistair Charlton, Forbes, 31 July 2022 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb In extreme cases, if there is enough to work with, embalmers may try to drill holes in the facial bones and wire the skull shut. Melissa Chan, NBC News, 14 June 2022 Really only one way – go War Emblem and take them gate to wire. Jason Frakes, The Courier-Journal, 3 May 2022 Really only one way – go War Emblem and take them gate to wire. Jason Frakes, USA TODAY, 3 May 2022 Only a scammer would ask you to send them cryptocurrency, give them the numbers on a gift card or wire them money. Mike Snider, USA TODAY, 16 Feb. 2022 The tale began on April 8, when an official in Abu mistakenly asked a local bank to wire Mr. Taguchi 46.3 million yen, or about $358,000, said Atsushi Nohara, a town official. New York Times, 19 May 2022 The new Tin Roof Fort Lauderdale will employ 50-70 full-time staffers, including a stable of sound engineers to wire the music stage for nightly music acts. Phillip Valys, Sun Sentinel, 13 May 2022 The shop is one of several downtown that offers overseas workers a way to wire money back home. Jennifer Pemberton, Anchorage Daily News, 29 Apr. 2022 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 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

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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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Dictionary Entries Near wire



wire agency

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Statistics for wire

Last Updated

8 Aug 2022

Cite this Entry

“Wire.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/wire. Accessed 12 Aug. 2022.

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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


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