Definition of mire in English:

Share this entry


Pronunciation: /ˈmī(ə)r/


1A stretch of swampy or boggy ground.
Example sentences
  • One side was fence, the other a swamp, a mire skewered by rotting birch trunks bracketed by hard tinder fungi.
  • As the annual flood inundates the delta, the cats are forced to cope with expanses of water that fragment their homes into a series of small islands and their hunting ground into dangerous, watery mires.
  • Open water falling within the delineation was discounted, but mire and swamp forest were not.
1.1Soft and slushy mud or dirt.
Example sentences
  • Besides removal of mud and mire which had accumulated since long at the bottom of the spring a number of gold ornaments and silver pieces offered to the Goddess were recovered.
  • Quickly we hauled the canoe ashore and began to follow on foot, but the muck and mire made a chase on land impossible.
  • It has been likened to the lotus, whose exquisite, fragrant blossom grows out of the muck and mire.
mud, slime, dirt, filth, muck
1.2 Ecology A wetland area or ecosystem based on peat.
Example sentences
  • Human-induced sinking raised bogs and commercial peat cutting contributed to a process whereby the extensive raised bogs and mires became large freshwater lakes, easily covering more than 50 percent of the former land.
  • These are classed as areas of county importance for their wildlife, which include ancient woodlands, species-rich grasslands and meadows, wetlands and mires.
  • This implies that throughout the development of each mire, base level rose and accommodation rates increased.
swamp, bog, morass, quagmire, slough;
swampland, wetland, marshland
2A situation or state of difficulty, distress, or embarrassment from which it is hard to extricate oneself: he has been left to squirm in a mire of new allegations
More example sentences
  • Its good, its proactive and there's no time to sink into the mire of self doubt and hopelessness if you are expending energy (preferably on inanimate objects).
  • It did eventually sink into a murky mire of sickening sentimentality that left me feeling nauseous, but hey, that's just me.
  • Meanwhile, they are six clear of Rangers who sank further into the mire yesterday when they could only get a draw at home to Inverness Caley Thistle.
mess, difficulty, plight, predicament, tight spot, trouble, quandary, muddle
informal jam, fix, pickle, hot water


[with object]
1Cause to become stuck in mud: sometimes a heavy truck gets mired down
More example sentences
  • A trip around a field to investigate moisture levels resulted in a four-wheel drive all terrain vehicle getting mired down.
  • In them are the bones of hundreds of dinosaurs, including skeletons of giant brontosaurs which were mired in soft mud.
  • They marched along the banners and got mired in the mud, screaming for help.
bog down, sink (down)
1.1Cover or spatter with mud.
1.2 (mire someone/something in) Involve someone or something in (a difficulti situation): the economy is mired in its longest recession since World War II
More example sentences
  • Even then, change will be difficult because the team is mired in a ‘the future is now’ philosophy, even when the present is bleak and unpromising.
  • They always believe themselves to be in the right, no matter how much wickedness they are mired in.
  • The flyover projects are stuck with no sign of a resolution of whatever conflicts they are mired in.
entangle, tangle up, embroil, catch up, mix up, involve


Middle English: from Old Norse mýrr, of Germanic origin; related to moss.

Words that rhyme with mire

acquire, admire, afire, applier, aspire, attire, ayah, backfire, barbwire, bemire, briar, buyer, byre, choir, conspire, crier, cryer, defier, denier, desire, dire, drier, dryer, dyer, enquire, entire, esquire, expire, fire, flyer, friar, fryer, Gaia, gyre, hellfire, hire, hiya, ire, Isaiah, jambalaya, Jeremiah, Josiah, Kintyre, latria, liar, lyre, Maia, Maya, Mayer, messiah, misfire, Nehemiah, Obadiah, papaya, pariah, peripeteia, perspire, playa, Praia, prior, pyre, quire, replier, scryer, shire, shyer, sire, skyer, Sophia, spire, squire, supplier, Surabaya, suspire, tier, tire, transpire, trier, tumble-dryer, tyre, Uriah, via, wire, Zechariah, Zedekiah, Zephaniah

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: mire

Share this entry

What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?

Comments that don't adhere to our Community Guidelines may be moderated or removed.