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

  • n. An area of wet, soggy, muddy ground; a bog.
  • n. Deep slimy soil or mud.
  • n. A disadvantageous or difficult condition or situation: the mire of poverty.
  • transitive v. To cause to sink or become stuck in or as if in mire.
  • transitive v. To hinder, entrap, or entangle as if in mire.
  • transitive v. To soil with mud or mire.
  • intransitive v. To sink or become stuck in mire.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. Deep mud; moist, spongy earth.
  • n. An undesirable situation, a predicament.
  • v. To weigh down.
  • v. Cause to become stuck in mud.
  • n. An ant.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. An ant.
  • n. Deep mud; wet, spongy earth.
  • intransitive v. To stick in mire.
  • transitive v. To cause or permit to stick fast in mire; to plunge or fix in mud.
  • transitive v. To stick or entangle; to involve in difficulties; -- often used in the passive or predicate form.
  • transitive v. To soil with mud or foul matter.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • To plunge and fix in mire; set or stall in mud; sink in mud or in a morass.
  • To soil or daub with slimy mud or foul matter.
  • To sink in mud; especially, to sink so deep as to be unable to move forward; stick in the mud.
  • To wonder; admire.
  • n. Wet, slimy soil of some depth and of yielding consistence; deep mud.
  • n. Filth.
  • n. An ant. See pismire.

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

  • n. deep soft mud in water or slush
  • n. a soft wet area of low-lying land that sinks underfoot
  • v. entrap
  • v. be unable to move further
  • v. cause to get stuck as if in a mire
  • n. a difficulty or embarrassment that is hard to extricate yourself from
  • v. soil with mud, muck, or mire


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

Middle English, from Old Norse mȳrr, bog.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Old Norse mýrr, from Proto-Germanic *miuzijō, whence also Swedish myr, Icelandic mýri, Dutch *mier (in placenames, for example Mierlo). Related to Proto-Germanic *meusan, whence Old English mēos, and Proto-Germanic *musan, whence Old English mos (English moss).

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

Perhaps related to Middle Dutch miere (Dutch mier). Cognate with Old Norse maurr, Danish myre.


  • The idea that if we create a fairer more forgiving society with a fully supportive social system the disenfranchised will lift themselves oput of the mire is frankly just not true anymore.


  • The king's ministers and the false prophets who misled him. sunk in ... mire -- proverbial for, Thou art involved by "thy friends '" counsels in inextricable difficulties.

    Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible

  • Page 10 to the intoxicating cup for stimulus to artificial excitement, and drowned all seasonable delight in mire, and a poison that not the dumb animals will swallow.

    God Seen Above All National Calamities

  • Even the worst drunks that hang out at the local bar here know that Fox news is a bunch of worn out republican journalist grasping at straws while sinking in mire.

    Think Progress » Fox News Slams Colbert: ‘Inappropriate,’ ‘Over the Line,’ ‘Not Very Funny’

  • That men are contented to be as pigs in the mire is the clearest evidence that their crowns and dignities have been burnt away.

    The Epistles of St. Peter

  • Married, the mire was her portion, whatever she might do.

    Diana of the Crossways — Volume 2

  • With calls for Senator Clinton to abandon what is now seen as little more than a schismatic adventure that risks a fracture along a racial fault-line dividing the Democratic Party just as the Whig Party was fractured by race, some have deduced that the probable motive driving the sinking campaign deeper into the mire is a misplaced belief some attribute to James Carville that they can torpedo Obama's presidential ambitions; survive the disaster of his loss to McCain and prevail as owners of the Democratic Party through the agency of the now discredited Democratic Leadership Council.

    Michael Carmichael: The Political Titanic

  • I would argue that this "mire" in which we have so willingly immersed ourselves results from our refusal to use labels.

    What is an Atheist?

  • He is like a diamond embedded in dross and mire which is suddenly separated from the overlying substances, and brought to the surface, clear and brilliant; it is not only a purified and magnificent stone; what really transforms it is the sun, which can now be reflected in it and make it sparkle.

    Spontaneous Activity in Education

  • Thus "mire" meant everything that was bodily and material; the "God sitting above the lotus" signified that

    Esoteric Christianity, or The Lesser Mysteries


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  • Re etymological roots, see also mushroom.

    April 11, 2018