Definition of mire in English:


Line breaks: mire
Pronunciation: /mʌɪə


  • 1A stretch of swampy or boggy ground: acres of land had been reduced to a mire
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    • 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.
  • 1.1 [mass noun] Soft mud or dirt: the roads retained their winter mire
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    • 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.
  • 1.2 Ecology A wetland area or ecosystem based on peat.
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    • 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.
  • 2A complicated or unpleasant situation from which it is difficult to extricate oneself: the service is sinking in the mire of its own regulations
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    • 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.


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

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