[mahyuh r]
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verb (used with object), mired, mir·ing.
  1. to plunge and fix in mire; cause to stick fast in mire.
  2. to involve; entangle.
  3. to soil with mire; bespatter with mire.
verb (used without object), mired, mir·ing.
  1. to sink in mire or mud; stick.

Origin of mire

1300–50; Middle English < Old Norse mȳrr bog; cognate with Old English mēos moss
Related formsun·mired, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

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British Dictionary definitions for mire


  1. a boggy or marshy area
  2. mud, muck, or dirt
  1. to sink or cause to sink in a mire
  2. (tr) to make dirty or muddy
  3. (tr) to involve, esp in difficulties
Derived Formsmiriness, nounmiry, adjective

Word Origin for mire

C14: from Old Norse mӯrr; related to moss
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 mire

c.1300, from a Scandinavian source (cf. Old Norse myrr "bog, swamp"), from Proto-Germanic *miuzja- (cf. Old English mos "bog, marsh"), from PIE *meus- "damp" (see moss).


c.1400, in figurative sense of "to involve in difficulties," from mire (n.). Literal sense is from 1550s. Related: Mired; miring.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

mire in Medicine


  1. Any of the test objects on the arm of a keratometer whose image, as reflected on the curved surface of the cornea, is used in calculating the amount of astigmatism.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.