[ wahyuh r-ee ]
/ ˈwaɪər i /

adjective, wir·i·er, wir·i·est.

made of wire.
in the form of wire.
resembling wire, as in form, stiffness, etc.: wiry grass.
lean and sinew: a wiry little person.
produced by or resembling the sound of a vibrating wire: wiry tones.

Nearby words

  1. wirrah,
  2. wirral,
  3. wirsung's canal,
  4. wirtz,
  5. wirtz, william willard,
  6. wiry pulse,
  7. wis,
  8. wis.,
  9. wisbech,
  10. wisby

Origin of wiry

First recorded in 1580–90; wire + -y1

Related formswir·i·ly, adverbwir·i·ness, noun

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for wiry

British Dictionary definitions for wiry


/ (ˈwaɪərɪ) /

adjective wirier or wiriest

(of people or animals) slender but strong in constitution
made of or resembling wire, esp in stiffnesswiry hair
(of a sound) produced by or as if by a vibrating wire
Derived Formswirily, adverbwiriness, 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

Word Origin and History for wiry



1580s, "made of wire," from wire (n.) + -y (2). As "resembling wire," From 1590s; sense of "lean, tough" is first recorded 1808. Related: Wiriness.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Medicine definitions for wiry


[ wīrē ]


Resembling wire in form or quality, especially in stiffness.
Sinewy and lean.
Filiform and hard. Used of a pulse.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.