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mere

1
[ meer ]
/ mɪər /
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See synonyms for: mere / merest / meres on Thesaurus.com

adjective, superlative mer·est.
being nothing more nor better than: a mere pittance;He is still a mere child.
Obsolete.
  1. pure and unmixed, as wine, a people, or a language.
  2. fully as much as what is specified; completely fulfilled or developed; absolute.
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Origin of mere

1
First recorded in 1250–1300; Middle English mer(e) “pure, clear, unmixed,” from Old French mier, mer, from Latin merus “pure, unmixed, simple, mere”

synonym study for mere

1. Mere, bare imply a scant sufficiency. They are often interchangeable, but mere frequently means no more than (enough). Bare suggests scarcely as much as (enough). Thus a mere livelihood means enough to live on but no more; a bare livelihood means scarcely enough to live on.

WORDS THAT MAY BE CONFUSED WITH mere

mere , mirror

Other definitions for mere (2 of 5)

mere2
[ meer ]
/ mɪər /

noun
Chiefly British Dialect. a lake or pond.
Obsolete. any body of sea water.

Origin of mere

2
First recorded before 900; Middle English mere, mer, meire, Old English mer, mære “sea, ocean, lake, pond, well, cistern,” cognate with German Meer, Old Norse marr, Gothic marei, Old Irish muir, Latin mare

Other definitions for mere (3 of 5)

mere3

or mear

[ meer ]
/ mɪər /

noun British Dialect.
a boundary or boundary marker.

Origin of mere

3
First recorded before 900; Middle English mere, mer, merre, Old English mǣre, gemǣre; cognate with Old Norse mæri “boundary, border land”; akin to Latin mūrus “defensive wall, city wall, boundary wall”

Other definitions for mere (4 of 5)

-mere

a combining form meaning “part,” used in the formation of compound words:blastomere.
Compare -mer, -merous.

Origin of -mere

Combining form representing Greek méros

Other definitions for mere (5 of 5)

mère
[ mer; English mair ]
/ mɛr; English mɛər /

noun, plural mères [mer; English mairz]. /mɛr; English mɛərz/. French.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2021

WORDS THAT USE -MERE

What does -mere mean?

The combining form -mere is used like a suffix meaning “part.” It is often used in scientific terms, especially in biology and anatomy.

The form -mere comes from Greek méros, meaning “part” or “portion.” From this same source, we also get the combining forms -mer and -merous. Want to know more? Check out our Words That Use entries for both forms.

Examples of -mere

One example of a scientific term that features the combining form -mere is osteomere, “one of a series of similar bone segments, such as a vertebra.”

The combining form osteo- means “bone,” from Greek ostéon. Because -mere means “part,” osteomere literally translates to “bone part.”

What are some words that use the combining form -mere?

Though they’re spelled similarly, the combining form -mere is not related to the adjective mere. Find out more at our entry for mere.

Break it down!

The combining form neuro- means “nerves” or “nervous system.” With this in mind, what does the anatomical term neuromere literally mean?

How to use mere in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for mere (1 of 5)

mere1
/ (mɪə) /

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

Word Origin for mere

C15: from Latin merus pure, unmixed

British Dictionary definitions for mere (2 of 5)

mere2
/ (mɪə) /

noun
archaic, or dialect a lake or marsh
obsolete the sea or an inlet of it

Word Origin for mere

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

British Dictionary definitions for mere (3 of 5)

mere3
/ (mɪə) /

noun
archaic a boundary or boundary marker

Word Origin for mere

Old English gemǣre

British Dictionary definitions for mere (4 of 5)

mere4
/ (ˈmɛrɪ) /

noun
NZ a short flat striking weapon

Word Origin for mere

Māori

British Dictionary definitions for mere (5 of 5)

-mere

n combining form
indicating a part or divisionblastomere

Derived forms of -mere

-meric, adj combining form

Word Origin for -mere

from Greek meros part, portion
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

Medical definitions for mere

-mere

suff.
Part; segment:blastomere, polymer.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.

Scientific definitions for mere

-mere
-mer

A suffix meaning “part” or “segment,” as in blastomere, one of the cells that form a blastula.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
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