Cambridge Dictionaries online Cambridge Dictionaries online

The most popular online dictionary and thesaurus for learners of English


English definition of “dire”


adjective     /daɪər/ US  /daɪr/
very serious or extreme : These people are in dire need of help . He gave a dire warning that an earthquake was imminent . This decision will have dire consequences for local people .Serious and severeSevere informal very bad : I thought that film was dire!Serious and unpleasantNot attractive to look atInformal words for bad
(Definition of dire adjective from the Cambridge Advanced Learner's Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)
Focus on the pronunciation of dire

Definitions of “dire” in other dictionaries

Word of the Day


the art and knowledge involved in preparing and eating good food

Word of the Day


Read our blog about how the English language behaves.

Learn More

New Words

Find words and meanings that have just started to be used in English, and let us know what you think of them.

Learn More