Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • adjective Warning of or having dreadful or terrible consequences; calamitous.
  • adjective Urgent; desperate.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • Causing or attended by great fear or terrible suffering; dreadful; awful: as, dire disaster; the dire results of intemperance.
  • Synonyms Fearful, woeful, disastrous, calamitous, destructive, terrific, awful, portentous.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • adjective Ill-boding; portentous.
  • adjective Evil in great degree; dreadful; dismal; horrible; terrible; lamentable.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • adjective Ill-boding; portentous.
  • adjective Dreadful; dismal; horrible; terrible; lamentable.
  • adjective Urgent, pressing.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • adjective fraught with extreme danger; nearly hopeless
  • adjective causing fear or dread or terror

Etymologies

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

[Latin dīrus, fearsome, terrible; akin to Greek deinos.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Latin dirus ("fearful, ominous").

Examples

  • On Friday, the LCC also detailed what it described as dire humanitarian conditions and other developments in several locales.

    CNN.com

  • WASHINGTON - Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson announced a series of moves Wednesday that redefine the federal government's $700 billion rescue plan for the financial industry in order to tackle what he called a dire situation in the consumer credit markets.

    News

  • He twice referred to past policy mistakes that contributed to the Great Depression, noting that the repetition of those mistakes - unregulated financial markets and trade protectionism - threaten to exacerbate what he describes as a dire global financial crisis that has yet to bottom out.

    Macleans.ca

  • He twice referred to past policy mistakes that contributed to the Great Depression, noting that the repetition of those mistakes - unregulated financial markets and trade protectionism - threaten to exacerbate what he describes as a dire global financial crisis that has yet to bottom out.

    Macleans.ca

  • The GOP would have to be in dire straits indeed if he's considered a serious candidate in 2016.

    Cantor's sights set higher than Congress?

  • Just look at who and what we have "leading" our Nation, no wonder we are in dire straits.

    Simpsons billionaire gets most write-in votes in NYC mayor race

  • Until all you entitlement libs figure this out and quit expecting everyone to bail you out and pay for everything, this country will continue to be in dire need of reform.

    CNN Poll: Americans say China's an economic threat

  • Until Monday, not a single representative of the euro zone had been willing to discuss the possibility of aid measures for countries in dire financial straits.

    EU breaking up?

  • Until all you entitlement libs figure this out and quit expecting everyone to bail you out and pay for everything, this country will continue to be in dire need of reform.

    CNN Poll: Americans say China's an economic threat

  • Our lop-sided world trade agreements etc., is in dire need of your time and effort.

    Clinton would 'look forward' to Palin sit down

Comments

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  • To say, in French.

    January 9, 2008

  • "You only came back to us when we'd turned it around

    When we'd rescued your arse from the fire

    Your contribution to all that we did was to say it was dire."

    (Take your carriage clock and shove it, by Belle and Sebastian)

    April 27, 2009

  • "sometimes as a ‘prophet of doom’ (thanks to his pronouncements about the dire prospects for humanity"

    Source: The most avid believers in artificial intelligence are aggressively secular – yet their language is eerily religious. Why?

    January 22, 2018