› [C or U] PRODUCTION a piece of long thin metal that can be bent or used to hold things together: Thin strands of copper wire are wrapped around the connection and soldered. › [C or U] COMMUNICATIONS a piece of long thin metal that can carry signals or electricity: electrical/telephone wire The wires had been cut, leaving the building in darkness. › [U] US BANKING, COMMUNICATIONS an electronic system for sending money from one bank account to another: by wire Amounts over $1,000 can be transferred to your bank account by wire or by check. → Compare telegraphic transfer › [C] COMMUNICATIONS a piece of electronic equipment that someone wears so that other people can secretly listen to their conversation, especially when trying to trick someone: He agreed to wear a wire to the meeting as part of the FBI investigation.
down to the wire › if something is down to the wire, it is not clear or decided until the last possible moment: go/come down to the wire It was likely the leadership contest would go down to the wire. Contract negotiations with two unions that represent more than 100,000 employees are expected to go right down to the wire.
get your wires crossed informal › if people get their wires crossed, they have a different understanding of the same situation: We must have got our wires crossed, because I thought the meeting was next week.