dire

[dahyuh r]

adjective, dir·er, dir·est.

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.

Nearby words

  1. dirac's constant,
  2. dirac, paul adrien maurice,
  3. diradical,
  4. dirae,
  5. dirdum,
  6. dire dawa,
  7. dire wolf,
  8. direc. prop.,
  9. direct,
  10. direct access

Origin of dire

First recorded in 1560–70, dire is from the Latin word dīrus fearful, unlucky

Related formsdire·ly, adverbdire·ness, noun

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for dire


British Dictionary definitions for dire

dire

adjective (usually prenominal)

Also: direful disastrous; fearful
desperate; urgenta dire need
foreboding disaster; ominousa dire warning
Derived Formsdirely, adverbdireness, noun

Word Origin for dire

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 dire

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