• WordNet 3.6
    • adj dire causing fear or dread or terror "the awful war","an awful risk","dire news","a career or vengeance so direful that London was shocked","the dread presence of the headmaster","polio is no longer the dreaded disease it once was","a dreadful storm","a fearful howling","horrendous explosions shook the city","a terrible curse"
    • adj dire fraught with extreme danger; nearly hopeless "a desperate illness","on all fronts the Allies were in a desperate situation due to lack of materiel"- G.C.Marshall","a dire emergency"
    • ***
Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
  • Interesting fact: The first music video ever played on MTV Europe was by Dire Straits, "Money For Nothing."
    • Dire Evil in great degree; dreadful; dismal; horrible; terrible; lamentable. "Dire was the tossing, deep the groans.""Gorgons and hydras and chimeras dire ."
    • Dire Ill-boding; portentous; as, dire omens.
    • ***
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
    • dire Causing or attended by great fear or terrible suffering; dreadful; awful: as, dire disaster; the dire results of intemperance.
    • dire Synonyms Fearful, woeful, disastrous, calamitous, destructive, terrific, awful, portentous.
    • ***
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
    • adj Dire dīr dreadful: calamitous in a high degree—(poet.) Dire′ful
    • ***


  • Jane Austen
    “One has not great hopes from Birmingham. I always say there is something direful in the sound.”
  • George Meredith
    “The most dire disaster in love is the death of imagination.”
  • Euripides
    “Nothing has more strength than dire necessity.”


In dire straits - If you're in dire straits, you're in serious trouble or difficulties.


Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
L. dirus,; of uncertain origin
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
L. dirus; cf. Gr. deinos, frightful.


In literature:

But so far the osculatory experiment has proved a dire failure.
"Born Again" by Alfred Lawson
Small blame should be his portion if in that abysmal moment there came to Philip a dire temptation.
"The Stowaway Girl" by Louis Tracy
And her brother, mailed and armed with his bow and arrows dire, Radiant as the blazing altar, sprang from Sacrificial Fire!
"Maha-bharata" by Anonymous
Yet it might be; such dire calamities had been.
"Henrietta Temple A Love Story" by Benjamin Disraeli
Cannot women take their pleasure with whom they please without such dire results?
"The Yotsuya Kwaidan or O'Iwa Inari" by James S. De Benneville
She came to him in dire anxiety.
"Marion's Faith." by Charles King
Whiles how dire was the dread she dreed in languishing heart-strings; How yet more, ever more, with golden splendour she paled!
"The Carmina of Caius Valerius Catullus" by Caius Valerius Catullus
Mordecai Winenki was reduced to dire want.
"Rabbi and Priest" by Milton Goldsmith
Simultaneously a speaker roared forth its message of a ship in dire peril.
"Triplanetary" by Edward Elmer Smith
The first skirmish in a dire conflict that is not even now over or near its end happened in 1836.
"The Life of William Ewart Gladstone, Vol. 1 (of 3)" by John Morley

In poetry:

For never foot of Bailiff
Should pass his threshold o'er,
And never knock of landlord
Sound direful on his door.
"A Vision Splendid" by Victor James Daley
Ah! if my voice is heard in vain,
This fond, this falling, tear
May yet thy dire intent restrain,
May yet dissolve my fear.
"Song III" by Sir John Carr
Write! and tell out this bloody tale;
Record this dire eclipse,
This Day of Wrath, this Endless Wail,
This dread Apocalypse!
"To William E. Channing" by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
"The daring Chief, whose shining spear
With purple gore is dy'd;
Oh ! direful news, prepare to meet
"Sir Raymond of the Castle" by Mary Darby Robinson
There is a smile, which more than tears
Or language can express;
The grim disguise which anguish wears,
The mask of dire distress
"Smiles." by Alfred Castner King
At the kiss of hoar frost,
The radiant angel swooned,
Of dire grief died, and lost
Her beautiful bloom — Her rare ethereal bloom.
"The Rape Of The Flowers" by Samuel Alfred Beadle

In news:

Some Analysts Doubt Dire Predictions on Tax Increase Fallout.
Same old, same old is sinking Detroit amid dire finances.
New Jersey's state senate president says the new Revel casino's finances are " dire ," and that he fears Atlantic City's newest resort could fail.
Revel casino's finances ' dire '.
Towson's Title IX situation not as dire as originally thought.
If the ethanol industry doesn't change, results could be dire .
Haiti still in dire need.
West's invasion of Syria would have dire results, Assad warns.
Schools, colleges win reprieve from dire cuts.
The dire predictions come mostly from companies that track vehicle title and repair histories and sell those reports.
EU sets dire Spanish growth forecasts: El Pais.
The European Commission is to forecast Spain's economy will be almost as dire next year as this, a newspaper said on Tuesday, raising the pressure for a euro zone bailout and undermining government promises that 2012 will mark the low point.
Stephen Harper issues dire warning over trade barriers.
Chronic malnutrition may cause dire consequences later in life Timi Gustafson, R.D.
Evacuations, power and gas still dire issues days after storm.

In science:

Before turning to the proof we give key examples of DIRE families, and describe techniques for constructing new DIRE families from old.
A law of large numbers for finite-range dependent random matrices
We write down some lemmas which will be helpful in applying the notion of DIRE family.
A law of large numbers for finite-range dependent random matrices
The first lemma, whose proof we omit, is a dire ct consequence of Lemma 1.3 in [Szn02].
Ballisticity conditions for random walk in random environment
The situation for graduate students and postdocs is particularly dire because they are often not eligible for benefits offered to faculty members and have much less financial leverage.
Challenges facing young astrophysicists
Specifically, when sensors choose their dire ction uniformly at random, the movement of the intruder in any direction will result in a larger relative speed and thus a smaller first hit time in that particular direction.
Dynamic Coverage of Mobile Sensor Networks