Dictionary > English Dictionary > Definition, synonym and antonym of mere
Meaning of mere by Wiktionary Dictionary



    Etymologies 1, 2, 3 and 4
    • ( RP ) IPA: /mɪə/, X-SAMPA: /mI@/
    • ( GenAm ) IPA: /mɪɚ/, X-SAMPA: /mI@`/
    Etymology 5
    • IPA: /ˈmɛɹi/, X-SAMPA: /"mEri/

    Etymology 1

    Old English mere, from Proto-Germanic *mari, from Proto-Indo-European *móri. Cognate with Dutch meer, German Meer, Norwegian mar ( only used in combinations, such as marbakke ); and ( from Indo-European ) with Latin mare, Breton mor, Russian море .

    Alternative form


    mere ( plural: meres )

    1. ( obsolete ) the sea
    2. ( dialectal or literary ) a pool; a small lake or pond; marsh
    Derived terms

    Etymology 2

    From Middle English, from Old English mǣre ( “boundary, limit” ), from Proto-Germanic *mērijan ( “boundary” ), from Proto-Indo-European *mey- ( “to fence” ). Cognate with Dutch meer ( “a limit, boundary” ), Icelandic mærr ( “borderland” ), Swedish landamäre ( “border, borderline, boundary” ) .

    Alternative form

    • meer, meere, mear, meare


    mere ( plural: meres )

    1. boundary, limit; a boundary-marker; boundary-line


    mere ( third-person singular simple present meres present participle mering, simple past and past participle mered )

    1. ( transitive, obsolete ) To limit; bound; divide or cause division in .
    2. ( intransitive, obsolete ) To set divisions and bounds .

    Etymology 3

    From Middle English, from Old English mǣre ( “famous, great, excellent, sublime, splendid, pure, sterling” ), from Proto-Germanic *mērijaz ( “excellent, famous” ), from Proto-Indo-European *mēros ( “large, handsome” ). Cognate with Middle High German mære ( “famous” ), Icelandic mærr ( “famous” ) .

    Alternative form


    mere ( comparative more mere, superlative most mere )

    1. ( obsolete ) famous .

    Etymology 4

    Anglo-Norman meer, from Old French mier, from Latin merus .


    mere ( comparative ( not attested ), superlative merest )

    1. ( obsolete ) pure, unalloyed [8th-17th c.]
    2. ( obsolete ) nothing less than; complete, downright [15th-18th c.]
    3. just, only; no more than [from 16th c.]
      I saved a mere 10 pounds this week .

    Etymology 5

    Maori mere ( “more” ) .


    mere ( plural: meres )

    1. a Maori war-club


    • frequency based on Project Gutenberg corpus">Most common English words before 1923: condition · sleep · ex · #688: mere · agreement · ship · third



    From Proto-Germanic *mari, from Proto-Indo-European *móri ( “sea” ). Cognate with Old Saxon meri ( Dutch meer ), Old High German meri ( German Meer ), Old Norse marr ( Swedish mar ). The Indo-European root is also the source of Latin mare, Old Irish muir ( Breton mor ), Old Church Slavonic море ( Russian море ), Lithuanian mãre .


    • IPA: /ˈmere/


    mere m .

    1. sea, ocean
    2. lake, body of water




    By Wiktionary ( 2010/06/29 03:23 UTC Version )

    Alternative forms

    • -mer


    From Ancient Greek μέρος ( meros, “part” ) .



    1. Forming nouns with the sense of part, segment

    Derived terms

    [+] English words suffixed with -mere


    By Wiktionary ( 2009/08/03 16:01 UTC Version )


    From mere "sea"



    1. of or relating to the sea, sea-, marine-
      mereþyssa "ship"
      merestrēam "sea-water"
      meremenin, meremennen "mermaid, siren"
      merenǣdre "sea-snake, lamprey"
      meregrota "pearl"
      merelīþend "sailor, seafarer"
      mereswīn "porpoise, dolphin"

Explanation of mere by Wordnet Dictionary


    1. being nothing more than specified

    2. a mere child
    3. apart from anything else

    4. shocked by the mere idea
    1. a small pond of standing water

    Definition of mere by GCIDE Dictionary


    1. Mere ( mēr ), n. [Written also mar.] [OE. mere, AS. mere mere, sea; akin to D. meer lake, OS. meri sea, OHG. meri, mari, G. meer, Icel. marr, Goth. marei, Russ. more, W. mor, Ir. & Gael. muir, L. mare, and perh. to L. mori to die, and meaning originally, that which is dead, a waste. Cf. Mortal, Marine, Marsh, Mermaid, Moor.] A pool or lake. Drayton. Tennyson.

    2. Mere, n. [Written also meer and mear.] [AS. gemǣre. √269.] A boundary. Bacon.

    3. Mere ( mēr ), v. t. To divide, limit, or bound. [Obs.]

      Which meared her rule with Africa. Spenser.

    4. Mere, n. A mare. [Obs.] Chaucer.

    5. Mere ( mēr ), a. [Superl. Merest. The comparative is rarely or never used.] [L. merus.]
      1. Unmixed; pure; entire; absolute; unqualified.

      Then entered they the mere, main sea. Chapman.

      The sorrows of this world would be mere and unmixed. Jer. Taylor.

      2. Only this, and nothing else; such, and no more; simple; bare; as, “a mere boy; a mere form.”

      From mere success nothing can be concluded in favor of any nation. Atterbury.