- causing or involving great fear or suffering; dreadful; terrible: a dire calamity.
- indicating trouble, disaster, misfortune, or the like: dire predictions about the stock market.
- urgent; desperate: in dire need of food.
Origin of dire
First recorded in 1560–70, dire is from the Latin word dīrus fearful, unlucky
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
Examples from the Web for direr
The second visit was the more dangerous, and fraught with direr consequences.Three People
There is no direr disaster in love than the death of imagination.
There would be direr, slower vengeance wreaked on them than on the alien British.Told in the East
Never shall any weapon of leafy wood crush the Goths with direr augury.The Danish History, Books I-IX
Saxo Grammaticus ("Saxo the Learned")
With his direr passions had been roused up all the native powers that made them doubly dangerous.My Novel, Complete
- Also: direful disastrous; fearful
- desperate; urgenta dire need
- foreboding disaster; ominousa dire warning
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
Word Origin and History for direr
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