Main definitions of mere in English

: mere1mere2mere3

mere1

adjective

  • 1attributive Used to emphasize how small or insignificant someone or something is.

    ‘questions that cannot be answered by mere mortals’
    ‘the city is a mere 20 minutes from some stunning countryside’
    • ‘They spoke of girls whom a mere day ago were their friends, supposedly best inseparable ones at that.’
    • ‘Kael felt his cheeks heat up at the mere hint of the heated promise in Sully's voice, and he cursed the blush, shaking his head and looking away to hide it.’
    • ‘The golfer shows a hint of mere mortality as his second from the rough at the 10th pulls up short of the green.’
    • ‘The cause of her current angst came from the collapsing of her younger brother inside their home a mere three days ago.’
    • ‘A mere eight years ago, France was brought to its knees by crippling strikes when the government tried to force through pension reforms.’
    • ‘These snatches are mere hints not out and out plagiarism, and most people would, perhaps, not notice them.’
    • ‘Immediately he recalled the events that had just taken place mere days ago.’
    • ‘In order to peak for the Games, however, they reduce their training time to mere minutes in the days preceding their events while keeping the calorie count virtually constant.’
    • ‘However, just a few decades ago, the mere mention of weight training was taboo in a lot of the popular sports.’
    • ‘The mere hint of a cold does not require a week off work with ‘the flu’.’
    • ‘Our ideas today of discourse and archives must be radically modified and can no longer be defined as Foucault painstakingly tried to describe them a mere two decades ago.’
    • ‘She couldn't bring herself to tell Cassie what had happened a mere hour ago.’
    • ‘‘I'm open-minded,’ he said, looking down at his shoes, the mere hint of a smile playing on his lips.’
    • ‘Unfortunately, this contradicts what the president said a mere three days ago.’
    • ‘These numbers are mere hints of the incalculable losses to the city that is still reeling as we enter the third year since that day of doom.’
    • ‘Was it a mere decade ago he was teaching me about history?’
    • ‘The boarding action techniques they were practicing were added to the requests a mere three days ago, in a new strategy devised by Admiral Korbin.’
    • ‘Rush, mere months ago the sweetest swingman in the country, now looks scared and confused on the court.’
    • ‘Sure, I'm stating the obvious, but it wasn't this way a mere year ago, was it?’
    • ‘A mere hint of the enormity of what lay ahead was at Brookhaven in Mississippi, my first stop on the Lampton / Lambton trail.’
    • ‘Never let the parents know, he had warned what seemed like mere glasses ago.’
    • ‘A mere decade ago, we were all stupid, docile sheep.’
    • ‘The smile I had mere seconds ago was replaced with a look of uneasiness.’
    • ‘Apple candy, cotton wool, melon and a mere hint of liquorice.’
    • ‘Clearly, the whole thing was a mere idea two weeks ago, and already demolition has begun.’
    • ‘It somehow reminded her so much of feelings that had only slipped through her fingers mere weeks ago.’
    • ‘A new job and house came in quick succession, and I found myself in a beautiful terraced ‘cottage’; a mere ten minutes stroll from the city centre.’
    • ‘It was actually quite funny to him how the bullet weapons had seemed so advanced to him a mere seven moths ago.’
    • ‘They are observed, your Honour, for a number of reasons, some of which may be historical, but basically they are mere insignificant courtesies.’
    • ‘Yesterday's rally was part explained by slightly better US manufacturing data, suggesting the battered sector might be showing a mere hint of improvement.’
    • ‘However, a mere two minutes later, Partick were back on level terms.’
    • ‘If you are already groaning with boredom at the mere hint of another mention of Big Brother, I'm sorry about that.’
    • ‘On mere mortals, eye makeup always seems to slide off or crease, leaving the wearer looking like a laboratory test gone wrong.’
    • ‘A decade ago a mere palm full of gel or mousse used to tame your locks into submission for the weekend.’
    • ‘Yet, at a mere ten minute's walk from the city centre, and just opposite Fishergate bar and the now-closed Barbican, it is not far off the beaten track.’
    • ‘He definitely was not drunk now, but mere moments ago, he had seemed to be as drunk as an alcoholic.’
    • ‘And the only way to do it is to keep writing, no matter how insignificant you think your mere words are.’
    • ‘The sangria was way too sugary and sweet with mere hint of wine and no trace of liquor.’
    • ‘On one side, it reduces the people depicted to mere entertainment value, insignificant frogs meant only for visual dissection.’
    • ‘After all, just how likely is it that some amateur could detect and disprove the so-called hoax in a mere six minutes, when trained professionals had taken it at face value?’
    trifling, meagre, bare, trivial, paltry, basic, scant, scanty, skimpy, minimal, slender
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1 Used to emphasize that the fact of something being present in a situation is enough to influence that situation.
      ‘his stomach rebelled at the mere thought of food’
      • ‘Is the mere fact that people can do this reason enough to do it?’
      • ‘The mere fact that they were his enemies was reason enough.’
      • ‘The mere fact that people get convictions wrong and people after serving 30 years or so walk free, should be a strong enough argument to deter anyone who think we should bring back capital punishment.’
      • ‘Consequently, the mere fact of life is not enough and public health medicine has become concerned with making people healthier while alive as well as preventing them from dying prematurely.’
      • ‘I say ‘probably’ because the mere fact of his departure will be seen by many as an admission of guilt - though history will have to judge the precise nature of his offence.’
      • ‘Where the behaviour of those concerned is lawful and peaceful the mere fact that others may object to it is not enough to justify an arrest.’
      • ‘The permanent features of our situation seem mere brute facts - to be endured or, if possible, gotten around.’
      • ‘I think the mere fact of wanting to own lots of weapons is enough for me to think that perhaps you shouldn't.’
      • ‘The mere fact of its longevity is proof enough for some of its divine origins.’
      • ‘It's as realistic as insisting that history should be totally objective, when in reality we know that the mere fact of choosing what to record and what to disregard instantly makes it subjective.’
      • ‘The mere fact that sickness levels require wholescale investigation suggests managers are unable to explain what happens within their areas of responsibility.’
      • ‘He testified that the Hells Angels organization has a reputation for violence and intimidation, such that the mere fact of being a member is enough to intimidate others.’
      • ‘The mere fact of his going to university - the only student on his estate to do so and the first blind student at Sheffield University - would have been a remarkable achievement.’
      • ‘Apart from the fact that his mere presence attracted a crowd of over 24,000, as well as live coverage on ABC television, he didn't make much of an impact on the game.’
      • ‘Whatever the problems with the present system, and there are many, the mere fact that there are now instruments tabulating human rights and fundamental freedoms is, in itself, a success.’
      • ‘Even if there are no risks at all to nearby residents and schoolchildren from dangerous radiation emissions, the mere fact that the mast is there at all could be cited as a health risk to those prone to excessive fretting.’
      • ‘Both my brother and sister call them that too, and in fact the mere idea of calling my mother ‘mum’ seems really weird, like I'm talking about someone else entirely.’
      • ‘He added: ‘The mere fact that you conclude that she was suspicious or even very suspicious or ought to have been suspicious is not enough.’’
      • ‘To hold otherwise would be, in effect,… to convict a man on his thoughts, unaccompanied by any physical act other than the fact of his mere presence.’
      • ‘Bakhtin also consistently emphasizes that the mere fact of a relation does not necessarily guarantee truth or meaning.’

Origin

Late Middle English (in the senses ‘pure’ and ‘sheer, downright’): from Latin merus ‘undiluted’.

Pronunciation

mere

/mɪə/

Main definitions of mere in English

: mere1mere2mere3

mere2

noun

British
literary
  • A lake or pond.

    ‘the stream widens into a mere where hundreds of geese gather’
    in place names ‘Hornsea Mere’
    • ‘Little grebes breed on ponds, small lakes and meres, flooded gravel pits and beet factory settling ponds.’
    • ‘Cecilia's surname Dela-mere puns ingeniously: over the sea, but also over the mere or lake.’
    • ‘Waters to head for include canals, rivers, gravel pits, lakes, ponds, meres and reservoirs.’

Origin

Old English, of Germanic origin; related to Dutch meer ‘lake’ and German Meer ‘sea’, from an Indo-European root shared by Russian more and Latin mare.

Pronunciation

mere

/mɪə/

Main definitions of mere in English

: mere1mere2mere3

mere3

noun

  • A Maori war club, especially one made of greenstone.

    • ‘This replicates a traditional Maori War Club used by Maori warriors of old.’
    • ‘A Maori warrior made his mere of greenstone, an igneous rock, and ground one side to a sharp edge.’
    • ‘The Mere (traditional Maori club) buried in the whales tail is a symbolic act of war.’

Origin

Maori.

Pronunciation

mere

/ˈmɛri/