Main definitions of mere in English

: mere1mere2

mere1

adjective

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

    ‘it happened a mere decade ago’
    ‘questions that cannot be answered by mere mortals’
    • ‘Clearly, the whole thing was a mere idea two weeks ago, and already demolition has begun.’
    • ‘The cause of her current angst came from the collapsing of her younger brother inside their home a mere three days ago.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘A decade ago a mere palm full of gel or mousse used to tame your locks into submission for the weekend.’
    • ‘They spoke of girls whom a mere day ago were their friends, supposedly best inseparable ones at that.’
    • ‘Rush, mere months ago the sweetest swingman in the country, now looks scared and confused on the court.’
    • ‘It was actually quite funny to him how the bullet weapons had seemed so advanced to him a mere seven moths ago.’
    • ‘He definitely was not drunk now, but mere moments ago, he had seemed to be as drunk as an alcoholic.’
    • ‘Immediately he recalled the events that had just taken place mere days ago.’
    • ‘Was it a mere decade ago he was teaching me about history?’
    • ‘She couldn't bring herself to tell Cassie what had happened a mere hour ago.’
    • ‘A mere eight years ago, France was brought to its knees by crippling strikes when the government tried to force through pension reforms.’
    • ‘However, just a few decades ago, the mere mention of weight training was taboo in a lot of the popular sports.’
    • ‘Never let the parents know, he had warned what seemed like mere glasses ago.’
    • ‘It somehow reminded her so much of feelings that had only slipped through her fingers mere weeks ago.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Unfortunately, this contradicts what the president said a mere three days ago.’
    • ‘A mere decade ago, we were all stupid, docile sheep.’
    • ‘Sure, I'm stating the obvious, but it wasn't this way a mere year ago, was it?’
    • ‘The smile I had mere seconds ago was replaced with a look of uneasiness.’
    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’
      • ‘The best thing about a history so steeped in mediocrity is that the merest hint of progress comes as a pleasant surprise.’
      • ‘He also had the merest hint of grey to his dark hair.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Lib stared at him blankly, then her face showed the merest hints of a frown.’
      • ‘No sir, these are nameless ones without the merest hint of date or place.’
      • ‘It's quite amazing; the merest hint of a parking ticket is enough to start car engines at almost a hundred metres.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘It is when there is the merest hint of cheating on either side that an activity is undermined.’
      • ‘He saw her slim frame tense slightly, and the merest hint of a smile, but there was no reply.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘I want to do that slight nod of the head, the merest hint of a smile and have that: ‘we did it’ glow.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘He has made little impact so far; his merest hint that leading the league might induce a little wind was dismissed with contempt.’
      • ‘Perhaps slightly above the norm for fashionable young people, but that's just the effect of the merest hint of urbanisation.’
      • ‘It's a statement, not a question, said a little stiffly with the merest hint of hurt.’
      • ‘Most red wine drinkers will appreciate the enjoyable nose aromas of blackfruits with just the merest hint of violets.’
      • ‘At the merest hint of food, the chickens, four in all plus Titus, the rooster, swirled around her.’
      • ‘The merest hint of deception or back-sliding was enough to cause loss of face within the community at large.’
      • ‘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/

Main definitions of mere in English

: mere1mere2

mere2

noun

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

    • ‘Cecilia's surname Dela-mere puns ingeniously: over the sea, but also over the mere or lake.’

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/