- The definition of mere is nothing more than or a small, unimportant thing or amount.
An example of mere is using just a teaspoon of lemon for a gallon of cake batter.
- nothing more or other than; only (as said to be): a mere boy
- Obsolete unmixed; pure
- Obsolete absolute; downright
Origin of mereMiddle English ; from Classical Latin merus, unmixed, pure ; from Indo-European base an unverified form mer-, to sparkle from source morning, Old English amerian, to purify
- Old Poet. a lake or pond
- Brit., Dialectal a marsh
- the sea
- an arm of the sea
Origin of mereMiddle English ; from OE: see mare
Origin of mereMiddle English ; from Old English (ge)mære ; from Indo-European base an unverified form mei-, to secure, a post, wooden wall from source Classical Latin murus, wall
Origin of -mere; from Classical Greek meros, a part: see merit
- Being nothing more than what is specified: a mere child; a mere 50 cents an hour.
- Considered apart from anything else: shocked by the mere idea.
- Small; slight: could detect only the merest whisper.
- Obsolete Pure; unadulterated.
Origin of mereMiddle English, absolute, pure, from Old French mier, pure, from Latin merus.
Origin of mereMiddle English, from Old English; see mori- in Indo-European roots.
Origin of -mereFrench -mĕre, from Greek meros, part; see (s)mer-2 in Indo-European roots.
- (dialectal or literary) a pool; a small lake or pond; marsh
From Middle English mere, from Old English mere (“the sea; mere, lake”), from Proto-Germanic *mari, from Proto-Indo-European *móri. Cognate with West Frisian mar, Dutch meer, Low German meer, Meer, German Meer, Norwegian mar (only used in combinations, such as marbakke); and (from Indo-European) with Latin mare, Breton mor, Russian море (more).
(third-person singular simple present meres, present participle mering, simple past and past participle mered)
From Middle English, from Old English mǣre (“boundary, limit”), from Proto-Germanic *mēriją (“boundary”), from Proto-Indo-European *mey- (“to fence”). Cognate with Dutch meer (“a limit, boundary”), Icelandic mærr (“borderland”), Swedish landamäre (“border, borderline, boundary”).
(comparative more mere, superlative most mere)
- (obsolete) famous.
From Middle English, from Old English mǣre (“famous, great, excellent, sublime, splendid, pure, sterling”), from Proto-Germanic *mērijaz (“excellent, famous”), from Proto-Indo-European *mēros (“large, handsome”). Cognate with Middle High German mære (“famous”), Icelandic mærr (“famous”).
(comparative merer, superlative merest)
- 1603, John Florio, translating Michel de Montaigne, Essays, I.56:
- Meere [transl. pure] ignorance, and wholy relying on others, was verily more profitable and wiser, than is this verball, and vaine knowledge […].
- Just, only; no more than [from 16th c.], pure and simple, neither more nor better than might be expected.
- I saved a mere 10 pounds this week.
- a Maori war-club
From Maori mere (“more”).