Definition of dire in English:

dire

adjective

  • 1Extremely serious or urgent.

    ‘misuse of drugs can have dire consequences’
    ‘he was in dire need of help’
    • ‘The situation won't be nearly as dire if the astronauts manage to get their main oxygen generator working again.’
    • ‘He also warned the government of dire consequences if the administration tried to stop either of the batches.’
    • ‘"In this village most families are in dire poverty, " he said.’
    • ‘"The situation is pretty dire, " said Thomas.’
    • ‘I knew if we continued to roll until we were inverted, our situation would become dire.’
    • ‘Discussion then moved on to other potential candidates in similar dire need of counselling.’
    • ‘The lessons appear clear: engage the moderates or the consequences could be dire.’
    • ‘Neglect of the physical constraints of holiness could be punished with the most dire consequences.’
    • ‘But Wisconsin is arguably in the most dire straits.’
    • ‘The resulting funding slowdown comes as Michigan schools are in dire need of repair.’
    • ‘Reality is never messed with for long without the most dire, most immediate consequences.’
    • ‘There are others though who, not only cannot do this, but are in fact in very dire circumstances.’
    • ‘She would have laughed if the situation hadn't been so dire.’
    • ‘Today, ten years later, the situation is just as dire, especially in rural areas.’
    • ‘People are very reluctant to accept pay cuts, even when the company is in pretty dire straits.’
    • ‘As winter sets in, as many as 5 million face dire food shortages.’
    • ‘The situation isn't so dire in Northeast Asia, especially in booming China.’
    • ‘Our Christmas dinner was immensely enjoyed by all, despite the dire shortage of drinks.’
    • ‘I choked helplessly as the need for air became dire.’
    • ‘But even less dire circumstances can warrant a second look.’
    terrible, dreadful, appalling, frightful, awful, horrible, atrocious, grim, unspeakable, distressing, harrowing, alarming, shocking, outrageous
    urgent, desperate, pressing, crying, sore, grave, serious, extreme, acute, drastic
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    1. 1.1 (of a warning or threat) presaging disaster.
      ‘there were dire warnings from the traffic organizations’
      • ‘ING Barings widened the dire predictions to stg £264 million on September 17.’
      • ‘Driving into the office he listened to the radio and heard dire warnings about increased security.’
      • ‘Thus, the dire warnings offered by the commissioners were certainly not new to their audiences.’
      • ‘There were dire warnings of an ecological disaster and world oil prices through the roof as the Iraqis set fire to the oil fields.’
      • ‘Even before the attacks, aid agencies issued dire warnings that Afghanistan was heading for disaster.’
      • ‘Liberal activists responded with dire warnings that America was in danger of being hijacked by the religious right.’
      • ‘There was no mention of the Government's dire warnings of the increasing financial burden of our ageing population.’
      • ‘In the margins other authors leave their marks, comments, and dire warnings.’
      • ‘Increasingly dire warnings suggest that the trendy toothfish has become too popular for its own good.’
      • ‘The State Department has issued dire warnings with threats of tens of thousands of dollars in fines.’
      • ‘In the latter category is a piece about green potatoes, offering dire warnings against eating them.’
      • ‘Are these dire warnings perhaps just a little exaggerated?’
      • ‘This might be a dire warning but I cannot do it to anyone.’
      • ‘Inevitably, this prompted more dire warnings about dwindling jobs in the fishing industry yesterday.’
      • ‘Here's to dire warnings, unsubstantiated threats and looking over our shoulders.’
      • ‘After considering the White House's latest policy proposals, some top economists are making very dire predictions indeed.’
      • ‘We are continually reminded about how vulnerable children are - with every festivity being accompanied by dire warnings.’
      • ‘Ever more dire warnings of impending atrocities were appearing in the press from ' behind the scenes' sources.’
      • ‘For a country already stricken by fear of anthrax attacks, this dire warning could not do much more to concentrate their minds.’
      • ‘Some people have been making some pretty dire predictions about the depletion of oil reserves recently.’
      ominous, portentous, gloomy, doom and gloom, sinister
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  • 2British informal Of a very poor quality.

    ‘the concert was dire’
    • ‘The second period wasn't dire in comparison to the first, but the game was in danger of dying a death after the interval.’
    • ‘Yet, it was dire, dismal, as dreary as the grey mist that enveloped the new stadium for the duration of the game.’
    • ‘This coincided with his appearance in the movie, a fact that overrode the track's dire, insipid quality.’
    • ‘Worst of all was the sound quality, which was just dire, and detracted from the event considerably.’
    • ‘Unfortunately, the look is garish and the build quality dire.’
    substandard, below standard, below par, bad, deficient, defective, faulty, imperfect, inferior, mediocre
    View synonyms

Origin

Mid 16th century: from Latin dirus ‘fearful, threatening’.

Pronunciation

dire

/ˈdʌɪə/