Definition of wire in English:

wire

Syllabification: wire
Pronunciation: /ˈwī(ə)r
 
/

noun

1Metal drawn out into the form of a thin flexible thread or rod.
More example sentences
  • Having very thin wire needles pushed into your skin and twiddled is a very bizarre experience.
  • Others were woven with thin copper wire, creating a seductively shiny and semisolid surface.
  • The earliest chronographs used vacuum tubes for timing and a thin copper wire to start and stop.
1.1A piece of wire.
More example sentences
  • Diagonal pliers or ‘dikes’ are actually intended to cut pieces of wire or small metal hardware like pins or nails.
  • I pulled out my piece of stiff metal wire and inserted it into the small keyhole on the outside of the door.
  • The pots of all shade treatment plants were fitted with a wire frame consisting of two 46 cm pieces of metal wire that were bent into a U-shape.
1.2A length or quantity of wire used, for example, for fencing or to carry an electric current.
More example sentences
  • Iron creates the magnetic field and copper wires carry away the current generated.
  • Do wires degenerate when electric current is passed through them?
  • Objecting to unsightly overhead wires to provide electric current, most British systems did not adopt electric traction until after 1900.
Synonyms
cable, lead, cord;
filament
1.3North American Horse Racing A wire stretched across and above the track at the finish line of a racetrack.
More example sentences
  • The pair fought furiously through Churchill's long stretch and were on nearly even terms at the wire and needed the photo finish camera to separate them.
  • Bred by Devonia Stud, Royal Dragon was held up early in the one-mile turf contest but was able to range up into contention more than one furlong from the wire.
  • She finished five lengths behind Azeri at the wire.
1.4An electronic listening device that can be concealed on a person.
More example sentences
  • And now she was here, doing what he'd asked while he listened on a wire.
2 informal , chiefly North American A telegram or cablegram.
More example sentences
  • Today, of course, we are no longer tethered to telegraph or telephone wires for conversation.
  • I frequently went down to the C&O Coloma depot, and spent time there listening in on the wire with agent Baker.

verb

[with object] Back to top  
1Install electric circuits or wires in: wiring a plug they wired the place themselves
More example sentences
  • The meeting discussed heating arrangements for the winter months and hope to get the prefab wired up for electricity during the next few weeks.
  • The polygraph, where you're - as you're aware, you have to be wired up to and it measures blood pressure, and heart rate and pulse and so on and so forth.
  • The informer, who is wired up, is told by one of the News of the World team hidden in a nearby van to move aside so that the paper's photographer can get a clear view of the ‘gang’ to take a picture.
1.1Connect (someone or something) to a piece of electronic equipment: a microphone wired to a loudspeaker
More example sentences
  • There's no point buying several grands' worth of audiophile equipment only to wire it up to cheap speakers.
  • Electronic components are then wired on to the device to process information that it senses or to drive the movement of its mechanical parts.
  • Although he has been told he would be unlikely to win a patent for wiring a vintage receiver to a handphone, he thinks he can turn it into a design-driven business.
2Provide, fasten, or reinforce with wires: they wired his jaw
More example sentences
  • Is it necessary for the jaw to be wired shut afterward?
  • Later, lying in the hospital with his jaw wired shut, Uncle Tap complained to Dennis that his nocturnal activities had been curtailed.
  • After all, it's hard to do a reading with your jaw wired shut.
3 informal , chiefly North American Send a telegram or cablegram to: she wired her friend for advice
More example sentences
  • As soon as the telegraph lines were back up and running she'd wire the Western Rangers, after all this was what they did for a living.
3.1 [with two objects] Send (money) to (someone) by means of a telegram or cablegram: he was expecting a friend in Australia to wire him $1,500
More example sentences
  • Instead he is unable to clear up suspicions that he embezzled funds and wired large sums of money to the US.
  • These charges range from weapons smuggling to illegally wiring large sums of money into the United States.
  • They can have the money wired to their bank account, they can open an account with a specified bank, or they can pick up their winnings personally.
4Snare (an animal) with wire.
5 Croquet Obstruct (a ball, shot, or player) by a wicket.

Origin

Old English wīr, of Germanic origin, probably from the base of Latin viere 'plait, weave'.

Phrases

by wire

By telegraph.
More example sentences
  • In the near future, the 1932 edition predicted, ‘we shall receive pictures by wire, as is already being done by one or two newspapers’.
  • For many decades into the late 20th Century, the railway relied on a daily time signal from the Dominion Observatory, sent by wire all across Canada.
  • We notified Hopkins by wire about the letters and then went back to Baker Street to wait.

down to the wire

informal Used to denote a situation whose outcome is not decided until the very last minute: it was probable that the test of nerves would go down to the wire
More example sentences
  • Many games especially those with playoff implications will go right down to the wire and be decided by a handful of points.
  • It could go down to the wire, but the Swedes could just hold their nerve best either in extra-time or penalties.
  • The game went down to the wire, each team trading baskets until we were tied at 80.

get one's wires crossed

see cross.

under the wire

North American informal At the last possible opportunity; just in time.
More example sentences
  • Deadline's tomorrow, and I won't be slipping in under the wire.
  • He called the place and just barely made it under the wire for the deadline for an interview.
  • I know that you hate how they get their payments in just under the wire.

Derivatives

wirer

noun
More example sentences
  • Our electrical wirers are also capable of carrying out electrical conversion work.
  • An Opportunity has arisen in the Coventry area for a skilled wirer that involves working with injection mould machines.
  • After one or two years of satisfactory performance, frame wirers may be selected to train for a more skilled job such as that of test desk technician or central office repairer.

Definition of wire in:

Get more from Oxford Dictionaries

Subscribe to remove adverts and access premium resources

Word of the day flagitious
Pronunciation: fləˈdʒɪʃəs
adjective
(of a person or their actions) criminal; villainous