Main definitions of mere in English

: mere1mere2mere3

mere1

adjective

  • 1attributive That is solely or no more or better than what is specified.

    ‘questions that cannot be answered by mere mortals’
    ‘it happened a mere decade 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.’
    • ‘And the only way to do it is to keep writing, no matter how insignificant you think your mere words are.’
    • ‘The golfer shows a hint of mere mortality as his second from the rough at the 10th pulls up short of the green.’
    • ‘A decade ago a mere palm full of gel or mousse used to tame your locks into submission for the weekend.’
    • ‘The smile I had mere seconds ago was replaced with a look of uneasiness.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Was it a mere decade ago he was teaching me about history?’
    • ‘Rush, mere months ago the sweetest swingman in the country, now looks scared and confused on the court.’
    • ‘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?’
    • ‘Clearly, the whole thing was a mere idea two weeks ago, and already demolition has begun.’
    • ‘A mere decade ago, we were all stupid, docile sheep.’
    • ‘On one side, it reduces the people depicted to mere entertainment value, insignificant frogs meant only for visual dissection.’
    • ‘The mere hint of a cold does not require a week off work with ‘the flu’.’
    • ‘The cause of her current angst came from the collapsing of her younger brother inside their home a mere three days ago.’
    • ‘They are observed, your Honour, for a number of reasons, some of which may be historical, but basically they are mere insignificant courtesies.’
    • ‘These snatches are mere hints not out and out plagiarism, and most people would, perhaps, not notice them.’
    • ‘They spoke of girls whom a mere day ago were their friends, supposedly best inseparable ones at that.’
    • ‘Sure, I'm stating the obvious, but it wasn't this way a mere year ago, was it?’
    • ‘It somehow reminded her so much of feelings that had only slipped through her fingers mere weeks ago.’
    • ‘She couldn't bring herself to tell Cassie what had happened a mere hour ago.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Apple candy, cotton wool, melon and a mere hint of liquorice.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘A mere eight years ago, France was brought to its knees by crippling strikes when the government tried to force through pension reforms.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘‘I'm open-minded,’ he said, looking down at his shoes, the mere hint of a smile playing on his lips.’
    • ‘A mere hint of the enormity of what lay ahead was at Brookhaven in Mississippi, my first stop on the Lampton / Lambton trail.’
    • ‘Yesterday's rally was part explained by slightly better US manufacturing data, suggesting the battered sector might be showing a mere hint of improvement.’
    • ‘On mere mortals, eye makeup always seems to slide off or crease, leaving the wearer looking like a laboratory test gone wrong.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Never let the parents know, he had warned what seemed like mere glasses ago.’
    • ‘He definitely was not drunk now, but mere moments ago, he had seemed to be as drunk as an alcoholic.’
    • ‘However, a mere two minutes later, Partick were back on level terms.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘If you are already groaning with boredom at the mere hint of another mention of Big Brother, I'm sorry about that.’
    • ‘The sangria was way too sugary and sweet with mere hint of wine and no trace of liquor.’
    • ‘Immediately he recalled the events that had just taken place mere days ago.’
    • ‘However, just a few decades ago, the mere mention of weight training was taboo in a lot of the popular sports.’
    trifling, meagre, bare, trivial, paltry, basic, scant, scanty, skimpy, minimal, slender
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1the merest The smallest or slightest.
      ‘the merest hint of makeup’
      • ‘No sir, these are nameless ones without the merest hint of date or place.’
      • ‘He saw her slim frame tense slightly, and the merest hint of a smile, but there was no reply.’
      • ‘It's a statement, not a question, said a little stiffly with the merest hint of hurt.’
      • ‘Lib stared at him blankly, then her face showed the merest hints of a frown.’
      • ‘One would not need to be a Rocket Scientist to figure out that the vultures would be circling at the merest hint of Him becoming available.’
      • ‘The meat needed only the merest hint of persuasion to drop from the bone and was the melt-in-your-mouth lamb you dream of, but rarely encounter.’
      • ‘The merest hint of deception or back-sliding was enough to cause loss of face within the community at large.’
      • ‘The light that had taken so long to die out would come back at the merest hint of loved ones or those that had cared for the person.’
      • ‘Perhaps slightly above the norm for fashionable young people, but that's just the effect of the merest hint of urbanisation.’
      • ‘I want to do that slight nod of the head, the merest hint of a smile and have that: ‘we did it’ glow.’
      • ‘People dived for cover when there was a brief spatter of rain; people brought out the warm coats when there was the merest hint of a sharp nip.’
      • ‘Most red wine drinkers will appreciate the enjoyable nose aromas of blackfruits with just the merest hint of violets.’
      • ‘It's quite amazing; the merest hint of a parking ticket is enough to start car engines at almost a hundred metres.’
      • ‘At the merest hint of food, the chickens, four in all plus Titus, the rooster, swirled around her.’
      • ‘The best thing about a history so steeped in mediocrity is that the merest hint of progress comes as a pleasant surprise.’
      • ‘It is when there is the merest hint of cheating on either side that an activity is undermined.’
      • ‘He also had the merest hint of grey to his dark hair.’
      • ‘He has made little impact so far; his merest hint that leading the league might induce a little wind was dismissed with contempt.’
      • ‘For this reason, King's determination to keep a tight lid on price rises could see interest rates creep up at the merest hint of rising inflation.’
      • ‘Weighty and exceptionally smooth in the mouth with the just the merest hint of liquorice, potatoes and spice.’

Origin

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

Pronunciation

mere

/mir//mɪr/

Main definitions of mere in English

: mere1mere2mere3

mere2

noun

British
literary
  • A lake, pond, or arm of the sea.

    • ‘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

/mir//mɪr/

Main definitions of mere in English

: mere1mere2mere3

mere3

noun

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

    • ‘The Mere (traditional Maori club) buried in the whales tail is a symbolic act of war.’
    • ‘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.’

Origin

Maori.

Pronunciation

mere

/ˈmerē//ˈmɛri/