1 [meer]
adjective, superlative merest.
being nothing more nor better than: a mere pittance; He is still a mere child.
pure and unmixed, as wine, a people, or a language.
fully as much as what is specified; completely fulfilled or developed; absolute.

1250–1300; Middle English < Latin merus pure, unmixed, mere

1. Mere, bare imply a scant sufficiency. They are often interchangeable, but mere frequently means no more than (enough). Bare suggests scarcely as much as (enough). Thus a mere livelihood means enough to live on but no more; a bare livelihood means scarcely enough to live on. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
mere1 (mɪə)
adj , superlative merest
being nothing more than something specified: she is a mere child
[C15: from Latin merus pure, unmixed]

mere2 (mɪə)
1.  archaic, dialect or a lake or marsh
2.  obsolete the sea or an inlet of it
[Old English mere sea, lake; related to Old Saxon meri sea, Old Norse marr, Old High German mari; compare Latin mare]

mere3 (mɪə)
archaic a boundary or boundary marker
[Old English gemǣre]

mere4 (ˈmɛrɪ)
(NZ) a short flat striking weapon

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
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Word Origin & History

c.1400, "unmixed," from O.Fr. mier "pure, entire," from L. merus "unmixed, pure, bare," used of wine, probably originally "clear, bright," from PIE *mer- "to gleam, glimmer, sparkle" (cf. O.E. amerian "to purify," O.Ir. emer "not clear," Skt. maricih "ray, beam," Gk. marmarein "to gleam, glimmer"). Original
sense of "nothing less than, absolute" (1530s, now only in vestiges such as mere folly) existed for centuries alongside opposite sense of "nothing more than" (1580s, e.g. a mere dream).

O.E. mere "sea, lake, pool, pond," from P.Gmc. *mari (cf. O.N. marr, O.S. meri "sea," Du. meer "lake," O.H.G. mari, Ger. Meer "sea," Goth. marei "sea," mari-saiws "lake"), from PIE *mori-/*mari "sea" (cf. L. mare, O.C.S. morje, Rus. more, Lith. mares, O.Ir. muir, Welsh mor "sea," Gaulish Are-morici "people
living near the sea").
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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American Heritage
Medical Dictionary

-mere or -mer
Part; segment: blastomere, polymer.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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American Heritage
Science Dictionary
-mere or -mer  
A suffix meaning "part" or "segment," as in blastomere, one of the cells that form a blastula.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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Example sentences
Find the merest hint of a pattern, and then exploit the daylights out of it.
The existence of this little group of elephants-probably no more than five
  today-hangs by the merest thread.
So are sunshine, college football, and panicky raids on grocery stores at the
  merest hint of snow.
The merest human vegetable can conceivably provide valuable data on the working
  of the human brain.
Related Words
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