Definition of mire in English:



  • 1A stretch of swampy or boggy ground.

    • ‘As the annual flood inundates the delta, the cats are forced to cope with expanses of water that fragment their homes into a series of small islands and their hunting ground into dangerous, watery mires.’
    • ‘During the past six months advantage has been taken so much of the drainage grant in Erris that hundreds of acres of swamp and mire have been converted into prime grazing and crop-raising land.’
    • ‘Today we have a bog, a long squelching sodden mire.’
    • ‘One side was fence, the other a swamp, a mire skewered by rotting birch trunks bracketed by hard tinder fungi.’
    • ‘Open water falling within the delineation was discounted, but mire and swamp forest were not.’
    • ‘There are also unusual habitats, a mix of ponds, woods, mire and zones of very rare lowland heath.’
    • ‘There are also wetlands and mires, many now dried up, especially in north Shropshire and southern Cheshire.’
    swamp, morass, bog, peat bog, marsh, quag, marshland, fen, slough, quicksand
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    1. 1.1Soft and slushy mud or dirt.
      • ‘Besides removal of mud and mire which had accumulated since long at the bottom of the spring a number of gold ornaments and silver pieces offered to the Goddess were recovered.’
      • ‘It has been likened to the lotus, whose exquisite, fragrant blossom grows out of the muck and mire.’
      • ‘The muck and mire are long gone, and the golf course looks much the same as it did on opening day.’
      • ‘Therefore, not to mention his clothes, which had seen three months' service in mire and dust, and his thick uncombed hair, the surface of his face and hands was dismally beclouded.’
      • ‘Quickly we hauled the canoe ashore and began to follow on foot, but the muck and mire made a chase on land impossible.’
      • ‘He lifted me out of the slimy pit, out of the mud and mire; he set my feet on a rock and gave me a firm place to stand.’
      • ‘Tugging his waterproof jacket closer around him, Mr. Quickfire trudged his way through the mud and mire.’
      • ‘He was unable to extract round bales from this part of land because machinery got bogged down in the mire.’
      • ‘The rain had turned the tiny courtyard between them into a field of mud and mire and it took longer than I expected to pass over the officer's quarters.’
      • ‘The rays of light coming in through the occasional window were clouded with dust and mire, bathing the stairwell in an eerie glow.’
      • ‘As far as I know, it sunk into the mire of the school field, and is still there twenty-five years later, an interesting divot on the outfield of the cricket pitch for future archaeologists to find.’
      mud, slime, sludge, dirt, filth, ooze, muck
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    2. 1.2Ecology A wetland area or ecosystem based on peat.
      • ‘Human-induced sinking raised bogs and commercial peat cutting contributed to a process whereby the extensive raised bogs and mires became large freshwater lakes, easily covering more than 50 percent of the former land.’
      • ‘This implies that throughout the development of each mire, base level rose and accommodation rates increased.’
      • ‘The use of fertilisers causes phosphates and nitrates to be washed into water courses, or the soil, and they eventually make their way into lakes or basin mires like Moorthwaite Moss.’
      • ‘These are classed as areas of county importance for their wildlife, which include ancient woodlands, species-rich grasslands and meadows, wetlands and mires.’
      • ‘The bryophytes that, prima facie, might be expected to be best adapted to photosynthesize under high light conditions are the species of mires, springs and other wet habitats, which remain constantly moist in full sun.’
      swamp, bog, morass, peat bog, quagmire, quag, slough, sump, quicksand, fen, fenland, swampland, marshland, wetland, salt marsh, saltings, salina
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  • 2A situation or state of difficulty, distress, or embarrassment from which it is hard to extricate oneself.

    ‘he has been left to squirm in a mire of new allegations’
    • ‘Slowly I progress on my downward spiral, but am saved from sinking completely into the mire of self-recrimination by the jolting reality of sudden stillness.’
    • ‘Any job loss is a blow, but we realise the trust is in a financial mire.’
    • ‘But Congress has refused - worried that America's defence secrets would leak to potential enemies because Britain has already sunk too deeply into the mire of European integrationism.’
    • ‘Scottish Saltires prop up the table but Yorkshire and Kent are just above them with 20 points each and whoever loses tonight will sink even deeper into the mire.’
    • ‘What started off as a fascinating delve into the secret world of ghost-hunting has become a parody of itself, sinking into a mire of its own making.’
    • ‘Its good, its proactive and there's no time to sink into the mire of self doubt and hopelessness if you are expending energy (preferably on inanimate objects).’
    • ‘Much-ballyhooed social programs have sunk in a mire of administrative muddling.’
    • ‘When a British Prime Minister's future is in mortal danger, in the face of grave threats at home and abroad, he needs a clear-headed strategy, a consistent line of argument and a convincing front-man to pull him out of the mire.’
    • ‘Until there is a real far-reaching agenda that will stop Scotland's economy sinking ever further into the mire, nothing will really change.’
    • ‘But are we really expected to fall for it after just one understated budget that took some very small steps out of the mire into which the coalition partners have sunk themselves in recent years.’
    • ‘What we get at the other end is a drunk, disillusioned rock star (in fact and fiction) who drinks far too much and seems sunk in a permanent mire of melancholy.’
    • ‘She misses the freedom she had in Germany and slowly sinks into a mire of drugs and alcohol.’
    • ‘The mire into which Scottish rugby has sunk is only going to get deeper.’
    • ‘It did eventually sink into a murky mire of sickening sentimentality that left me feeling nauseous, but hey, that's just me.’
    • ‘‘What should have been a simple exercise of building two platforms on each side of an existing passenger rail route was again bogged down in a mire of negotiations,’ he said.’
    • ‘With the new proposals we will sink even further into the mire with less and less control of our own destiny.’
    • ‘He was swamped in it, slowly sinking in to the mire of documents and decisions he could no longer even think of how to make.’
    • ‘Meanwhile, they are six clear of Rangers who sank further into the mire yesterday when they could only get a draw at home to Inverness Caley Thistle.’
    • ‘Dance is about lifting us up from the mire we have sunk in and the classical art is a healing influence, which cuts across all barriers.’
    • ‘Mary was still sunk in the mire of her own grief and no amount of reasoning would help to get her out of it.’


  • 1 Cause to become stuck in mud.

    ‘sometimes a heavy truck gets mired down’
    • ‘A truck that happened along drove them a few miles before becoming mired in the mud.’
    • ‘Close up, Carlile noticed the dark scummy shoreline and two car tires mired in the mud.’
    • ‘They marched along the banners and got mired in the mud, screaming for help.’
    • ‘In them are the bones of hundreds of dinosaurs, including skeletons of giant brontosaurs which were mired in soft mud.’
    • ‘A trip around a field to investigate moisture levels resulted in a four-wheel drive all terrain vehicle getting mired down.’
    get bogged down, sink, sink down, stick in the mud
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    1. 1.1Cover or spatter with mud.
      dirty, soil, muddy, begrime, spatter, smear, make dirty, make muddy, cake with dirt, cake with soil
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    2. 1.2Involve someone or something in (a difficulti situation)
      ‘the economy is mired in its longest recession since World War II’
      • ‘Even then, change will be difficult because the team is mired in a ‘the future is now’ philosophy, even when the present is bleak and unpromising.’
      • ‘They always believe themselves to be in the right, no matter how much wickedness they are mired in.’
      • ‘His strategy of hitching Mexico's economy even more tightly to that of the US has only mired the country in a deeper slump.’
      • ‘These days, when the faithful of all religions are regarded with suspicion, and the Catholic Church is mired in scandal, it is easy to forget that this pope's influence once reached out far beyond the Vatican.’
      • ‘The question is whether the new policy is adequate to remedy the problems that have mired the space program in confusion and impotence, or whether it will amount to nothing.’
      • ‘The weakest of the major economies, Japan has been mired in recession for most of the last decade.’
      • ‘They reveal a governmental mindset that once mired this country in Vietnam and is at work in our current occupation of Iraq.’
      • ‘Yet, it is this dependence on rice that mires millions in chronic micro-nutrient deficiency.’
      • ‘Their hunt for a replacement has been mired in difficulties, even though Pena certainly looked the part in early season.’
      • ‘On a few occasions I was present when friends gathered at his flat, discussing literature, the politics that mired Hungary in the war and the postwar hopes of those who were against the prevailing order.’
      • ‘The students are naturals with these video diaries, which is not surprising considering the media saturation my generation is mired in.’
      • ‘Barnard confidently integrates a vast primary and secondary literature without miring the reader in excessive detail.’
      • ‘Tom only knows that Bob's presence mires their relationship in patterns of slavery, whereas Louisa is initially unaware of such a pattern.’
      • ‘Changes such as these have mired the film in controversy even before it has opened in the UK.’
      • ‘The flyover projects are stuck with no sign of a resolution of whatever conflicts they are mired in.’
      • ‘Meanwhile, the economy is mired in recession, while its traditional locomotive, the export sector, is being derailed by the strong euro.’
      • ‘He also made a reference to the glutinous controversy that the film was mired in.’
      • ‘As enlightened artists of all types will attest, it's harder to draw simply, to play slowly, to move cleanly, than to mire things in complexity.’
      • ‘Yet the mass of details-informative and rich as they are-tend to mire the book in a swamp of names and dates.’
      • ‘The bad news is that the vocation's reputation did not rise out of the trough it has been mired in for two decades.’
      entangle, tangle up, embroil, enmesh, catch up, mix up, involve, bog down
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Middle English: from Old Norse mýrr, of Germanic origin; related to moss.