Etymology
Advertisement

wire (n.)

Old English wir "metal drawn out into a fine thread," from Proto-Germanic *wira- (source also of Old Norse viravirka "filigree work," Swedish vira "to twist," Old High German wiara "fine gold work"), from PIE root *wei- "to turn, twist, plait."

A wire as marking the finish line of a racecourse is attested from 1883; hence the figurative down to the wire. Wire-puller in the political sense is by 1842, American English, on the image of pulling the wires that work a puppet; the image itself in politics is older:

The ministerial majority being thus reduced to five in a house of five hundred and eighty-three, Lord John Russell and Lord Melbourne respectively announce the breaking up of the administration, and the curtain falls on the first act of the political farce, to the infinite annoyance and surprise of the prime wire-puller in the puppet-show. [British and Foreign Review, vol. IX, July-October 1839]

wire (v.)

c. 1300, "adorn with (gold) wire," from wire (n.). From 1859 as "communicate by means of a telegraphic wire;" 1891 as "furnish with electrical wires and connections." Related: Wired; wiring.

Others are reading

Advertisement
Advertisement
Definitions of wire
1
wire (v.)
provide with electrical circuits;
wire the addition to the house
wire (v.)
send cables, wires, or telegrams;
Synonyms: cable / telegraph
wire (v.)
fasten with wire;
The columns were wired to the beams for support
wire (v.)
string on a wire;
wire beads
wire (v.)
equip for use with electricity;
Synonyms: electrify
2
wire (n.)
ligament made of metal and used to fasten things or make cages or fences etc;
wire (n.)
a metal conductor that carries electricity over a distance;
Synonyms: conducting wire
wire (n.)
the finishing line on a racetrack;
wire (n.)
a message transmitted by telegraph;
Synonyms: telegram
From wordnet.princeton.edu