Dire refers to situations or events that cause great fear and worry. A dire calamity causes much suffering.

If a family is in dire need, they need immediate help. Dire predictions or warnings tell us that a disaster may happen in the future. If you are trapped between the burning building behind you and the high cliffs in front of you, you might describe yourself as being in dire straits.

Definitions of dire

adj fraught with extreme danger; nearly hopeless

“a dire emergency”
being in or verging on a state of crisis or emergency

adj causing fear or dread or terror

dire news”
awful, direful, dread, dreaded, dreadful, fearful, fearsome, frightening, horrendous, horrific, terrible
frightening because of an awareness of danger

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