9 Grammatical Pitfalls


[dahyuh r] /daɪər/
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.
Origin of dire
1560-70; < Latin dīrus fearful, unlucky
Related forms
direly, adverb
direness, noun Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for dire
  • 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.
  • What followed was worse than even the most dire pessimist could have envisioned.
  • One kind that falls into the dire emergency category is anaphylactic shock.
  • It's hard to make an argument these days, with all the research and data to support this, that things are not that dire.
  • It's important to remember that dire poverty is not only in third world countries.
  • But dire pronouncements about new forms of entertainment are old hat.
  • No one really knows, yet dire predictions are made as if they are inevitable.
British Dictionary definitions for dire


adjective (usually prenominal)
Also direful. disastrous; fearful
desperate; urgent: a dire need
foreboding disaster; ominous: a dire warning
Derived Forms
direly, adverb
direness, noun
Word Origin
C16: from Latin dīrus ominous, fearful; related to Greek deos fear
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for dire

1560s, from Latin dirus "fearful, awful, boding ill," of unknown origin; perhaps from Oscan and Umbrian and perhaps cognate with Greek deinos, from PIE root *dwei-.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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