View synonyms for wiry


[ wahyuhr-ee ]


, wir·i·er, wir·i·est.
  1. made of wire.
  2. in the form of wire.
  3. resembling wire, as in form, stiffness, etc.:

    wiry grass.

  4. lean and sinew:

    a wiry little person.

  5. produced by or resembling the sound of a vibrating wire:

    wiry tones.


/ ˈwaɪərɪ /


  1. (of people or animals) slender but strong in constitution
  2. made of or resembling wire, esp in stiffness

    wiry hair

  3. (of a sound) produced by or as if by a vibrating wire

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Derived Forms

  • ˈwiriness, noun
  • ˈwirily, adverb

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Other Words From

  • wiri·ly adverb
  • wiri·ness noun

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Word History and Origins

Origin of wiry1

First recorded in 1580–90; wire + -y 1

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Example Sentences

We see a younger, even more wiry Bourdain singing the praises of breakfast-time cigarettes, or play-fencing with a friend, using treacherous-looking kitchen knives as weapons.

From Time

I can count the time by the inches of wiry, silver hair coming from my scalp.

Wiry and more grey man than charismatic, Votel is known for his no-nonsense, rather closed demeanor.

My prom date, Red, sported a wiry mustache and drove a black-and-gold Camaro.

Little wiry chap, with silvery hair, bright brown eyes and plenty of wrinkles.

He was wiry, crisp, and clean and lean, his mind as sharp as ever.

Models came down the runway in head pieces fashioned into twisted, wiry wigs in subtle winter colors.

The old gentleman was heavy and Gwynne sound and wiry in spite of his delicate appearance.

His predecessors had to deal with Perry Thomas, and in spite of his gentle ways and intellectual cast, Perry is active and wiry.

He was of frugal and temperate habits, a wiry man at the height of his physical powers, with lean flanks and a deep chest.

Chumru laid aside the garment and tickled his wiry hair underneath his turban.

His forehead was not very high, but broad and open; his hair dark and wiry, for which reason he kept it cut short.