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The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48:

Dire \Dire\ (d[imac]r), a. [Compar. Direr (d[imac]r"[~e]r); superl. Direst.] [L. dirus; of uncertain origin.] 1. Ill-boding; portentous; as, dire omens. [1913 Webster] 2. Evil in great degree; dreadful; dismal; horrible; terrible; lamentable. [1913 Webster] Dire was the tossing, deep the groans. --Milton. [1913 Webster] Gorgons and hydras and chimeras dire. --Milton. [1913 Webster]