\ ˈwī(-ə)r-ē How to pronounce wiry (audio) \
wirier\ ˈwī-​rē-​ər How to pronounce wirier (audio) \; 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 How to pronounce wirily (audio) \ adverb
wiriness \ ˈwī-​rē-​nəs How to pronounce wiriness (audio) \ 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 Only the serious runners are passing me now, long, wiry bodies with dayglo shoes and militant eye-protection. Matt Farwell, The New Republic, "My Own Private Decade From Hell," 30 Dec. 2019 Nina is wiry and agile, constantly moving and working. Seth Kantner, Anchorage Daily News, "Lost in the years: Nourished by memories, wisdom and moose meat in Northwest Alaska," 6 Dec. 2019 Damon’s cornpone impudence and Bale’s volatile temperament (turning himself into a wiry Pete Postlethwaite) don’t rise to a level of mythic authenticity. Armond White, National Review, "Ford v Ferrari Makes Race-Car Movies Great Again," 22 Nov. 2019 Soon we were all corralled by Ernesto’s biking partner and best friend, Camilo Sánchez, a wiry figure with a silver goatee whose father had been killed in Bolivia with Che. Lisette Poole, Smithsonian, "Roaring Through Cuba With Che Guevara’s Son," 24 Oct. 2019 For more than three decades they were looked after by a wiry keeper, Dicko Toki. The Economist, "A former president’s crocodiles are terrorising Ivory Coast’s capital," 21 Nov. 2019 Before long, my casual stubble gave way to a wiry purgatory, and the strange drama unfolding on my face became an obsession. William Alden, The Atlantic, "Where Toxic Masculinity Goes to Die," 1 Oct. 2019 No one could make Jo laugh like Lola. *** My parents had two dogs: sleek, gentle Sandy, and hyper, wiry-haired Penny, whom my mom had adopted on a whim outside Petco. Katie Gutierrez, Longreads, "How to Predict the Unpredictable," 24 Sep. 2019 The Friendship local was led by Jim Danley, a wiry 35-year-old with a sandy complexion, and by the Eberle brothers. Trevor Paulhus, Smithsonian, "When the Socialist Revolution Came to Oklahoma—and Was Crushed," 19 Sep. 2019

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

17 Jan 2020

Cite this Entry

“Wiry.” The Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/wiry. Accessed 22 January 2020.

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More Definitions for wiry

How to pronounce wiry (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of wiry

: very thin but strong and muscular
: stiff like wire
\ ˈwīr-ē How to pronounce wiry (audio) \
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

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