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noun British Dialect.
  1. mere3.


or mear

noun British Dialect.
  1. a boundary or boundary marker.

Origin of mere3

before 900; Middle English; Old English (ge)mǣre; cognate with Old Norse mǣri; akin to Latin mūrus wall, rim
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for mear

Historical Examples

  • What can she be to me but a mear recklection—a vishn of former ears?


    William Makepeace Thackeray

  • But for ganging to Carloisle, he's dead foundered, man, as cripple as Eckie's mear.'

    Red Gauntlet

    Sir Walter Scott

  • And now another call for the appointed sport is drowned by the flatboatmen singing the ancient tune of 'Mear.'

  • Blair reports section 10 ready for track layers and Mear's outfit moving into the Palisade Caon.

    Held for Orders

    Frank H. Spearman

  • We did a mear nothing provisionally, hardly a Bottle extra, wich is a proof in Pint.

British Dictionary definitions for mear


adjective superlative merest
  1. being nothing more than something specifiedshe is a mere child

Word Origin

C15: from Latin merus pure, unmixed


  1. archaic, or dialect a lake or marsh
  2. obsolete the sea or an inlet of it

Word Origin

Old English mere sea, lake; related to Old Saxon meri sea, Old Norse marr, Old High German mari; compare Latin mare


  1. archaic a boundary or boundary marker

Word Origin

Old English gemǣre


  1. NZ a short flat striking weapon

Word Origin

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 mear



c.1400, "unmixed, pure," from Old French mier "pure" (of gold), "entire, total, complete," and directly from Latin merus "unmixed" (of wine), "pure; bare, naked;" figuratively "true, real, genuine," probably originally "clear, bright," from PIE *mer- "to gleam, glimmer, sparkle" (cf. Old English amerian "to purify," Old Irish emer "not clear," Sanskrit maricih "ray, beam," Greek marmarein "to gleam, glimmer"). Original sense of "nothing less than, absolute" (mid-15c., now only in vestiges such as mere folly) existed for centuries alongside opposite sense of "nothing more than" (1580s, e.g. a mere dream).



Old English mere "sea, ocean; lake, pool, pond, cistern," from Proto-Germanic *mari (cf. Old Norse marr, Old Saxon meri "sea," Middle Dutch maer, Dutch meer "lake, sea, pool," Old High German mari, German Meer "sea," Gothic marei "sea," mari-saiws "lake"), from PIE *mori- "sea" (cf. Latin mare, Old Church Slavonic morje, Russian more, Lithuanian mares, Old Irish muir, Welsh mor "sea," Gaulish Are-morici "people living near the sea").

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

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