Word to the Wise: dire

110520-F-MN146-083 MEETO, Ethiopia (May 20, 2011) - Women and children watch from a fence as members of the 402nd Combined Arms Battalion functional specialty team and local Ethiopian student nurses treat patients during a Medical Civic Action Program (MEDCAP) in Meeto, Ethiopia, May 20. The MEDCAP was held to enhance partner nation health care capacity and reduce the threat of disease by collaborating with local medical professionals, interagency partners and local authorities. (U.S. Air Force photo / Staff Sgt. Elizabeth Rissmiller)

dire (adjective) – very negative, difficult or urgent

There are also direly (adverb) and direness (noun), but they aren’t used.

Here are some examples of how you can use it:

The high unemployment among youth predicts dire consequences for the economy.

The charity is in dire need of more funds.

The refugees have been evacuated to camps where they live in the direst circumstances.

The Pulverstons have 12 children and since the parents don’t work they live in dire poverty.

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