adjective, direr, direst.
causing or involving great fear or suffering; dreadful; terrible: a dire calamity.
indicating trouble, disaster, misfortune, or the like: dire predictions about the stock market.
urgent; desperate: in dire need of food.

1560–70; < Latin dīrus fearful, unlucky

direly, adverb
direness, noun
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Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
dire (daɪə)
1.  Also: direful disastrous; fearful
2.  desperate; urgent: a dire need
3.  foreboding disaster; ominous: a dire warning
[C16: from Latin dīrus ominous, fearful; related to Greek deos fear]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Word Origin & History

1567, from L. dirus "fearful, awful, boding ill," from Oscan and Umbrian, cognate with Gk. deinos, from PIE base *dwei-.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Example sentences
But he would be greatly weakened, with dire consequences for his ability to
  meet many other urgent challenges.
There were some dire moments.
The result is a lively, opinionated, and timely study of irresponsible politics
  grappling with a dire economy.
There is a growing consensus that the situation is dire—and looking
  bleaker every day.
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