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dire

[dahyuh r] /daɪər/
adjective, direr, direst.
1.
causing or involving great fear or suffering; dreadful; terrible:
a dire calamity.
2.
indicating trouble, disaster, misfortune, or the like:
dire predictions about the stock market.
3.
urgent; desperate:
in dire need of food.
Origin of dire
1560-1570
First recorded in 1560-70, dire is from the Latin word dīrus fearful, unlucky
Related forms
direly, adverb
direness, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for dire
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • To have married a girl who cared only for his money; that would have been dire enough.

    The Spenders Harry Leon Wilson
  • The present, so, was more than any possible future, how dire soever it might be.

    The Spenders Harry Leon Wilson
  • We cheered, thinking some dire calamity had befallen the enemy.

    Ned Myers James Fenimore Cooper
  • In fact, no word except that of dire disaster had come to hand.

    Welsh Fairy Tales William Elliott Griffis
  • But it is a dire necessity, and it is impossible to avoid or to turn it.

British Dictionary definitions for dire

dire

/daɪə/
adjective (usually prenominal)
1.
Also direful. disastrous; fearful
2.
desperate; urgent: a dire need
3.
foreboding disaster; ominous: a dire warning
Derived Forms
direly, adverb
direness, noun
Word Origin
C16: from Latin dīrus ominous, fearful; related to Greek deos fear
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for dire
adj.

1560s, from Latin dirus "fearful, awful, boding ill," of unknown origin; perhaps from Oscan and Umbrian and perhaps cognate with Greek deinos, from PIE root *dwei-.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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