- 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
Examples from the Web for direly
Contemporary Examples of direly
The beleagured nation has been direly impacted by troop and weapon flows into its north from neighbor Libya.Mali's in Trouble
January 11, 2013
Historical Examples of direly
I had hastened forward, convinced that my aid and protection were direly needed.In the Valley
Suppose she let him see how direly she needed money at this moment.Mrs. Vanderstein's jewels
Mrs. Charles Bryce
Then a misfortune happened; trivial yet how direly pregnant!Darkness and Dawn
George Allan England
The want of cartridges was what the troops felt most direly.The Thin Red Line; and Blue Blood
It seemed as if the danger that threatened her so direly had vanished.The Delight Makers
- Also: direful disastrous; fearful
- desperate; urgenta dire need
- foreboding disaster; ominousa dire warning
Word Origin for dire
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-.