Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English homepage

Date: 1500-1600
Language: Latin
Origin: dirus


1 extremely serious or terrible:
warnings of dire consequences that often don't come true
The country is in dire need of food aid.
The situation looked dire.

be in dire straits

to be in an extremely difficult or serious situation:
Everyone agrees the sport is in dire straits.

dire warning/prediction/forecast

a warning about something terrible that will happen in the future:
Last night there were dire warnings of civil war.

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