(Latin: fearful, awful, boding ill, ill-omened, horrible, terrible)

dire (adjective); direr, direst or more dire, most dire
1. Descriptive of something; such as, an event or a situation that causes terrible and dreadful consequences; calamitous: Fred's business advisor presented a dire economic forecast.
2. Characterized by severe, serious, or desperate circumstances: The people were in dire need of building materials because of the hurricane which also, naturally, caused dire poverty for many people.
3. Referring to something which is fraught with extreme danger; nearly hopeless: The situation became direr when Ted's mother saw him slip on the ice.
4. Concerning a circumstance which will result in a future catastrophe or have serious consequences: The terrorists threatened the people with the direst punishments of beatings and death for cooperating with their government.
5. Pertaining to the worst indications of trouble, disasters, or misfortunes: The preacher spoke to his congregation about the dire consequences of living immoral lives.
A reference to a terrible situation.
© ALL rights are reserved.

Descriptive of a dangerous condition.
© ALL rights are reserved.

Go to this Word A Day Revisited Index
so you can see more of Mickey Bach's cartoons.

dire straits (noun) (a plural form used as a singular)
1. A situation of emergency or desperate need: The dire straits of the flooded community were accentuated by the rapid drop in temperatures.
2. A very difficult or dangerous situation: The earthquake and the spread of cholera has left Haiti in dire straits for a long time.
direful (adjective), more direful, most direful
1. Pertaining to something that causes fear, great apprehension, or terror: The direful warnings of severe winds on the radio caused the farmers to fear for their crops that were ready to be harvested.
2. Relating to an awful or terrible situation: It was inspiring to note the positive attitudes of the people despite the most direful flooding of their community in more than a century.
2. A reference to trouble or a failure: The economist indicated direful forecasts for future investments.
direfully (adverb), more direfully, most direfully
1. In a terrible manner: Bill's direfully poor physical situation was relieved only by the relief he received from his friends and neighbors.
2. Descriptive of something that is dreadfully bad; woefully: Finding himself trapped in the snow, Manfred cried out direfully on his cell phone for help.
direfulness (s) (noun) (no plural)
A fear, dread, or terror: The direfulness of the warning that a severe storm was approaching their area was enough to cause some people to hide in terror.
direly (adverb), more direly, most direly
1. Referring to a dreadfully and terribly bad condition: Madeline could only think direly of what the storm did to her house.
2. Relating to an indication of trouble, disaster, misfortune, etc.: The predictions were direly presented by Mildred's financial adviser.
3. Characteristic of an urgently or desperately bad circumstance: The people in the severe drought area were direly pleading for food.
direness (s) (noun), direnesses (pl)
1. A terrible, horrible, or dismal condition: The direness of the hiker’s condition after spending a night on the mountain side in freezing weather was of great concern to the doctors in the hospital.
2. The quality of being desperately urgent: The direness of any refusal to meet the demands necessary to settle Sam's fiscal problems before the current laws end is predicted to result in very significant financially negative results.