[ dahyuhr ]
See synonyms for: diredirest on Thesaurus.com

adjective,dir·er, dir·est.
  1. causing or involving great fear or suffering; dreadful; terrible: a dire calamity.

  2. indicating trouble, disaster, misfortune, or the like: dire predictions about the stock market.

  1. urgent; desperate: in dire need of food.

Origin of dire

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

Other words from dire

  • direly, adverb
  • direness, noun

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2024

How to use dire in a sentence

  • We believe the direst ill afflicting civilization is the good young man.

  • Even the direst need will not bring me to apply for help to one with whom I should have to undergo a long struggle.

  • I never thought of selling them; and to mortgage them, in the hour of direst need, would have seemed to be a sacrilege.

    File No. 113 | Emile Gaboriau
  • For a swarm of locusts to visit the land they had thought one of the direst calamities that could come upon them.

    Little Folks | Various

British Dictionary definitions for dire


/ (daɪə) /

adjective(usually prenominal)
  1. Also: direful disastrous; fearful

  2. desperate; urgent: a dire need

  1. foreboding disaster; ominous: a dire warning

Origin of dire

C16: from Latin dīrus ominous, fearful; related to Greek deos fear

Derived forms of dire

  • direly, adverb
  • direness, noun

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