- being nothing more nor better than: a mere pittance; He is still a mere child.
- pure and unmixed, as wine, a people, or a language.
- fully as much as what is specified; completely fulfilled or developed; absolute.
Origin of mere1
Examples from the Web for merest
Aggie sniffed, as if such an outcome were the merest bagatelle.
On another, it might have appeared perhaps the merest trifle garish.
He tells lies like a woman, for the pleasure of it, for the merest trifle.His Masterpiece
It was the merest chance in the world that Porter went up at all.The Stark Munro Letters
J. Stark Munro
It seemed that he saw the merest ghost of a flicker in Murray's left eye.The Martian Cabal
Roman Frederick Starzl
- being nothing more than something specifiedshe is a mere child
- archaic, or dialect a lake or marsh
- obsolete the sea or an inlet of it
- archaic a boundary or boundary marker
- NZ a short flat striking weapon
Word Origin and History for merest
c.1400, "unmixed, pure," from Old French mier "pure" (of gold), "entire, total, complete," and directly from Latin merus "unmixed" (of wine), "pure; bare, naked;" figuratively "true, real, genuine," probably originally "clear, bright," from PIE *mer- "to gleam, glimmer, sparkle" (cf. Old English amerian "to purify," Old Irish emer "not clear," Sanskrit maricih "ray, beam," Greek marmarein "to gleam, glimmer"). Original sense of "nothing less than, absolute" (mid-15c., now only in vestiges such as mere folly) existed for centuries alongside opposite sense of "nothing more than" (1580s, e.g. a mere dream).
Old English mere "sea, ocean; lake, pool, pond, cistern," from Proto-Germanic *mari (cf. Old Norse marr, Old Saxon meri "sea," Middle Dutch maer, Dutch meer "lake, sea, pool," Old High German mari, German Meer "sea," Gothic marei "sea," mari-saiws "lake"), from PIE *mori- "sea" (cf. Latin mare, Old Church Slavonic morje, Russian more, Lithuanian mares, Old Irish muir, Welsh mor "sea," Gaulish Are-morici "people living near the sea").