Definition of dire in English:

dire

adjective

  • 1(of a situation or event) extremely serious or urgent.

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

Origin

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

Pronunciation

dire

/ˈdī(ə)r/