wire

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English[edit]

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Stranded electrical wire.

Etymology[edit]

From Middle English wir, wyr, from Old English wīr (wire, metal thread, wire-ornament), from Proto-Germanic *wīraz (wire), from Proto-Indo-European *weyro- (a twist, thread, cord, wire), from Proto-Indo-European *wey- (to turn, twist, weave, plait). Cognate with Low German Wir (wire), German Wiere (wire, metallic thread), Icelandic vír (wire), Swedish vira (to twist), Latin vieō (weave together), Welsh gwyr ('bent'), and Greek ίρις ('rainbow').

Pronunciation[edit]

Noun[edit]

wire (countable and uncountable, plural wires)

  1. (uncountable) Metal formed into a thin, even thread, now usually by being drawn through a hole in a steel die.
    • 2013 June 8, “The new masters and commanders”, The Economist, volume 407, number 8839, page 52: 
      From the ground, Colombo’s port does not look like much. Those entering it are greeted by wire fences, walls dating back to colonial times and security posts. For mariners leaving the port after lonely nights on the high seas, the delights of the B52 Night Club and Stallion Pub lie a stumble away.
  2. A piece of such material; a thread or slender rod of metal, a cable.
  3. A metal conductor that carries electricity.
  4. A fence made of usually barbed wire.
  5. (sports) A finish line of a racetrack.
  6. (informal) A telecommunication wire or cable; hence, an electric telegraph; a telegram.
  7. (slang) A hidden listening device on the person of an undercover operative for the purposes of obtaining incriminating spoken evidence.
  8. (informal) A deadline or critical endpoint.
    This election is going to go right to the wire
  9. (billiards) A wire strung with beads and hung horizontally above or near the table which is used to keep score.

Synonyms[edit]

Derived terms[edit]

Translations[edit]

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See also[edit]

Verb[edit]

wire (third-person singular simple present wires, present participle wiring, simple past and past participle wired)

  1. To fasten with wire, especially with reference to wine bottles, corks, or fencing.
    We need to wire that hole in the fence.
    • 1934, Rex Stout, Fer-de-Lance, 1992 Bantam edition, ISBN 0553278193, page 222:
      I could see him in his plane flying low over the river or a reservoir, dropping the club out with a chunk of lead wired to the shaft.
  2. To string on a wire.
    wire beads
  3. To equip with wires for use with electricity.
  4. To add something into an electrical system by means of wiring; to incorporate or include something.
    I'll just wire your camera to the computer screen.
  5. (informal) To send a message or a money value to another person through a telecommunications system, formerly predominately by telegraph.
    Urgent: please wire me another 100 pounds sterling.
  6. To make someone tense or psyched up.
    I'm never going to sleep: I'm completely wired from all that coffee.
  7. (slang) To install eavesdropping equipment.
    We wired the suspect's house.
  8. To snare by means of a wire or wires.

Synonyms[edit]

  • (to equip for use with electricity): electrify
  • (informal: to send a message or a money value to another person through a telecommunications system): cable, telegraph

Antonyms[edit]

  • (to fasten with wire): unwire

Troponyms[edit]

  • (to fasten with wire): rewire
  • (to equip for use with electricity): rewire

Derived terms[edit]

Translations[edit]

Anagrams[edit]