Meaning of WIRE in English

I. ˈwī(ə)r, -īə noun

( -s )

Usage: often attributive

Etymology: Middle English, from Old English wīr; akin to Old Norse vīra virki wirework, filigree, Old High German wiara fine gold, Latin viēre to twist together, plait, Greek iris rainbow; basic meaning: bend, turn


a. : metal in the form of a usually very flexible thread or slender rod

b. : a thread or rod of such material — compare cord 3b

2. : the strings of a musical instrument ; broadly : stringed instrument


a. : wirework ; especially : woven wire

screen wire

b. : the meshwork of parallel or woven wire on which the wet web of paper forms and is drained

4. : a wirelike thing (as a thin plant stem or a hair) ; specifically : bine , stolon 1a

hop wires

strawberry wires

5. usually wires plural

a. : a system of wires used to operate the puppets in a puppet show

b. : the network of hidden influences controlling the action of a person or organization

pull the wires for office


a. : a line of wire for conducting electrical current — compare cord 3b


(1) : a telegraph wire or cable

(2) : a telegraph system

send a message by wire

the wires of Europe were hot with telegrams — C.E.Black & E.C.Helmreich

(3) : telegram , cablegram

send a wire

wire news

c. : a telephone wire or system

heard a familiar voice over the wire

as soon as she could get that man off the wire — F.M.Ford

7. : a metal snare (as for rabbits)

8. Scotland : knitting needle

9. slang : pickpocket ; especially : the member of a pickpocket team who picks the victim's pocket

10. : fencing or a fence of barbed wire

a horse cut by wire

behind the wire of a prison stockade

also : a barbed wire entanglement (as on a battlefield)

11. : wire rope

12. : a wire-haired dog

13. : a wire strung high between the winning posts between which the horses pass at the finish of a race

finished a dismal last at the wire — F.M.Blunk

broadly : the finish line of a race

as the campaign goes down to the wire — Elmo Roper & Louis Harris

14. : a wire on which acrobats perform

wire act

wire walker

— see high wire , slack wire , tightwire


a. : a long rod or strip of metal with a smooth or cutting edge used in the formation of looped or cut pile in carpet weaving

b. : the fineness of carpets measured by the number of rows of tufts per inch

16. : metal thread or rod used in surgery to suture soft tissue or transfix fractured bone — compare tantalum gauze

17. : information surreptitiously or privately exchanged between gamblers (as by a signal)

18. : magnetic recording wire

- under the wire

- under wire

II. verb

( -ed/-ing/-s )

Etymology: Middle English wiren, from wire (I)

transitive verb

1. : to provide with wire : use wire on for any purpose : string, stiffen, or connect with wire

wire corks in bottles

wire a skeleton

wire beads

wire a fence

wire a hat

wire a house for electricity

wire electric lights together

2. : to snare by means of a wire

wire a rabbit

3. : to send or send word to by telegraph

wire me the news

4. : to place (a croquet ball) behind the wire of an arch thus preventing a successful shot

intransitive verb

: to send a telegraphic message

wire home for money

III. transitive verb

: to predispose, determine, or establish genetically or innately : hardwire herein

the controversy over the extent to which human violence is wired biologically

Webster's New International English Dictionary.      Новый международный словарь английского языка Webster.