- 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 direness
Contemporary Examples of direness
Should John Kerry, given his commitment and the direness of the situation, pack his bags?Everyone Says John Kerry Should Stay Out of the Middle East
July 13, 2014
- 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-.