Etymology
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dire (adj.)

"causing or attended by great fear, dreadful, awful," 1560s, from Latin dirus "fearful, awful, boding ill," a religious term, which is of unknown origin. Apparently a dialect word in Latin; perhaps from Oscan and Umbrian and perhaps cognate with Greek deinos "terrible," Sanskrit dvis- 'hate, enmity, enemy," from PIE root *dwei-, forming words for "fear; hatred."

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Definitions of dire

dire (adj.)
causing fear or dread or terror;
dire news
Synonyms: awful / direful / dread / dreaded / dreadful / fearful / fearsome / frightening / horrendous / horrific / terrible
dire (adj.)
fraught with extreme danger; nearly hopeless; "on all fronts the Allies were in a desperate situation due to lack of materiel"- G.C.Marshall;
a dire emergency
Synonyms: desperate
From wordnet.princeton.edu