\ ˈwī(-ə)r-ē \
wirier\ ˈwī-​rē-​ər \; wiriest

Definition of wiry

1a archaic : made of wire
b : resembling wire especially in form and flexibility the wiry coat of the Irish terrier wiry stems
c of sound : produced by or suggestive of the vibration of wire the violinist … often let his tone go nasal and wiry— D. J. Henahan
2 : being lean, supple, and vigorous : sinewy the wiry figure of a long-distance runnerPhoenix Flame

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Other Words from wiry

wirily \ ˈwī-​rə-​lē \ adverb
wiriness \ ˈwī-​rē-​nəs \ noun

Examples of wiry in a Sentence

a man with long, wiry arms She was lean and wiry from years of working out. He has dark, wiry hair.
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Recent Examples on the Web

Under rusted lampposts on a dusty street in a postwar Naples neighborhood, the wiry and fierce Lila Cerullo marches past an old man roasting chestnuts and kids kicking a soccer ball made of string. Jason Horowitz, Vogue, "Meet the Adorable Italian Stars in HBO’s Elena Ferrante Adaptation, My Brilliant Friend," 14 Aug. 2018 For example: chandelier, shrub, and basket cells form wiry connections that look like those three objects. William Herkewitz, Popular Mechanics, "We Just Discovered 6 New Kinds of Brain Cells," 26 Nov. 2015 Increased range and accuracy on his shot, plus more muscle on his wiry frame (and 40-point games for the powerhouse Oakland Soldiers club in the spring), merely expanded his recruiting profile. Mark Zeigler, sandiegouniontribune.com, "SDSU basketball recruiting targets drawing interest from the big boys," 10 July 2018 The actor’s Zorro is wiry, tricky and nimble, and his sword fights with Trucks (who doubles as Ramón’s lieutenant) are the exciting work of fight choreographer Michael Engelmann. Christine Dolen, miamiherald, "'Zorro' fills the stage with romantic, swashbuckling drama and music of the Gypsy Kings | Miami Herald," 10 Apr. 2018 His son César is also small, but wiry, bespectacled, and bearded. Brett Martin, GQ, "Lyon Is the Real Capital of French Food," 12 Mar. 2018 There are dozens of little figures holding tiny props: a man drinking wine by a cathedral radio in his parlor, a bride and groom on their wedding day, a grandmother wearing wiry glasses, knitting. Leslie Kendall Dye, Longreads, "City on a Hill," 23 June 2018 The wiry undulations of the Slinky toy, for example, turn out to be good way of modeling sine waves. Paul Grimstad, The New Republic, "Can You Measure How Good a Song Is?," 21 June 2018 Lord, with his wiry frame, preferred rock climbing, while the burlier, six-foot-five Doro was more of a hiker. The Atlantic, "Is Social Media Luring Hikers Into 'Death Gully'?," 17 May 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'wiry.' 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 wiry

1588, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

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Statistics for wiry

Last Updated

19 Dec 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for wiry

The first known use of wiry was in 1588

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More Definitions for wiry



English Language Learners Definition of wiry

: very thin but strong and muscular

: stiff like wire


\ ˈwīr-ē \
wirier; wiriest

Kids Definition of wiry

1 : being slender yet strong and muscular
2 : coarse and stiff wiry hair

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More from Merriam-Webster on wiry

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with wiry

Spanish Central: Translation of wiry

Nglish: Translation of wiry for Spanish Speakers

Comments on wiry

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


tremendous in size, volume, or degree

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