• (RP) IPA: /mɪə/
  • (America) IPA: /mɪɚ/
  • IPA: /ˈmɛɹi/, /ˈmɛɹɛ/

mere (plural meres)

  1. (dialectal or literary) A body of standing water, such as a lake or a pond. More specifically, it can refer to a lake that is broad in relation to its depth. Also included in place names such as Windermere.
    • 1753, Michael Drayton, The Works Of Michael Drayton, esq volume 3, p. 1156:
      When making for the brook the falconer doth espy / One river plash or mere where store of fowl doth lie […]
    • 1774, Goldsmith
      The meres of Shropshire and Chesbire.
    • 1823, Sir Walter Scott
      As a tempest influences the sluggish waters of the deadest mere.
    • 1888, Annie S. Swan
      She loved.. to watch the lovely shadows in the silent depths of the placid mere.
    • 1955, William Golding, The Inheritors, Faber & Faber 2005, p. 194:
      Lok got to his feet and wandered along by the marshes towards the mere where Fa had disappeared.

mere (plural meres)

  1. Boundary, limit; a boundary-marker; boundary-line.
    • 1590, Edmund Spenser, The Faerie Queene, III.ix:
      The Troian Brute did first that Citie found, / And Hygate made the meare thereof by West, / And Ouert gate by North: that is the bound / Toward the land; two riuers bound the rest.

mere (meres, present participle mering; past and past participle mered)

  1. (transitive, obsolete) To limit; bound; divide or cause division in.
  2. (intransitive, obsolete) To set divisions and bounds.
  3. (cartography) To decide upon the position of a boundary; to position it on a map.
Related terms Adjective


  1. (obsolete) Famous.

mere (comparative merer, superlative merest)

  1. (obsolete) Pure, unalloyed [8th-17thc.].
    • 1590, Edmund Spenser, The Faerie Queene, III.8:
      So oft as I this history record, / My heart doth melt with meere compassion […].
    • 1603, Michel de Montaigne, chapter 56, in John Florio, transl., The Essayes, […], book I, printed at London: By Val[entine] Simmes for Edward Blount […], OCLC 946730821 ↗:
      Meere {{transterm
  2. (obsolete) Nothing less than; complete, downright [15th-18thc.].
    I saved a mere 10 pounds this week.
    • 1624, Democritus Junior [pseudonym; Robert Burton], The Anatomy of Melancholy: […], 2nd edition, Oxford, Oxfordshire: Printed by John Lichfield and James Short, for Henry Cripps, OCLC 54573970 ↗, partition II, section 3, member 7:
      If every man might have what he would […] we should have another chaos in an instant, a meer confusion.
  3. Just, only; no more than [from 16thc.], pure and simple, neither more nor better than might be expected.
    • 1913, Mrs. [Marie] Belloc Lowndes, chapter I, in The Lodger, London: Methuen, OCLC 7780546 ↗; republished in Novels of Mystery: The Lodger; The Story of Ivy; What Really Happened, New York, N.Y.: Longmans, Green and Co., […], [1933], OCLC 2666860 ↗, page 0016 ↗:
      Thus the red damask curtains which now shut out the fog-laden, drizzling atmosphere of the Marylebone Road, had cost a mere song, and yet they might have been warranted to last another thirty years. A great bargain also had been the excellent Axminster carpet which covered the floor; […].
Translations Noun

mere (plural meres)

  1. A Maori war-club.
    • 2000, Errol Fuller, Extinct Birds, Oxford 2000, p. 41:
      As Owen prepared to dismiss the matter, Rule produced something that really caught the great man's eye – a greenstone mere, the warclub of the Maori.

Proper noun
  1. A village in northern Cheshire.
  2. A small town in southern Wiltshire.
  3. a sub-municipality in East Flanders, Belgium.

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