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[mahyuh r] /maɪər/
a tract or area of wet, swampy ground; bog; marsh.
ground of this kind, as wet, slimy soil of some depth or deep mud.
verb (used with object), mired, miring.
to plunge and fix in mire; cause to stick fast in mire.
to involve; entangle.
to soil with mire; bespatter with mire.
verb (used without object), mired, miring.
to sink in mire or mud; stick.
Origin of mire
1300-50; Middle English < Old Norse mȳrr bog; cognate with Old English mēos moss
Related forms
unmired, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for mire
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • How the fetid goat and the swine wallowing in the mire speak to the lecherous man and the drunkard!

    Curiosities of Heat Lyman B. Tefft
  • We found a good many dead, and several horses in the mire, but no wounded.

    Ned Myers James Fenimore Cooper
  • The daughter of a poor goatherd, whom I picked up from the mire, is now the premier pipe-filler of the Pasha of Salonica.

  • The stove, with its perspective all awry, was tame and precise, and in colour as dingy as mire.

    His Masterpiece Emile Zola
  • They spend whole days amusing themselves in the water, and sometimes even in the mire.

  • And the sow that was washed, she went wallerin' in the mire, first chance she got.

    Old Man Curry Charles E. (Charles Emmett) Van Loan
  • He had expected, after being shaken violently, to be flung into the mire again.

    The Fighting Edge William MacLeod Raine
  • And the whiter the soul that is dragged through that—that mire, the more the defilement.

    The Christian Hall Caine
British Dictionary definitions for mire


a boggy or marshy area
mud, muck, or dirt
to sink or cause to sink in a mire
(transitive) to make dirty or muddy
(transitive) to involve, esp in difficulties
Derived Forms
miriness, noun
miry, adjective
Word Origin
C14: from Old Norse mӯrr; related to moss
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 mire

c.1300, from a Scandinavian source (cf. Old Norse myrr "bog, swamp"), from Proto-Germanic *miuzja- (cf. Old English mos "bog, marsh"), from PIE *meus- "damp" (see moss).


c.1400, in figurative sense of "to involve in difficulties," from mire (n.). Literal sense is from 1550s. Related: Mired; miring.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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mire in Medicine

mire (mēr)
Any of the test objects on the arm of a keratometer whose image, as reflected on the curved surface of the cornea, is used in calculating the amount of astigmatism.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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