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adj. dir·er, dir·est
1. Warning of or having dreadful or terrible consequences; calamitous: a dire economic forecast; dire threats.
2. Urgent; desperate: in dire need; dire poverty.

[Latin dīrus, fearsome, terrible; akin to Greek deinos.]

dire′ly adv.
dire′ness n.
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References in classic literature ?
121-139) But after earth had covered this generation -- they are called pure spirits dwelling on the earth, and are kindly, delivering from harm, and guardians of mortal men; for they roam everywhere over the earth, clothed in mist and keep watch on judgements and cruel deeds, givers of wealth; for this royal right also they received; -- then they who dwell on Olympus made a second generation which was of silver and less noble by far.
Susan, who had an innate taste for the genteel and well-appointed, was eager to hear, and Fanny could not but indulge herself in dwelling on so beloved a theme.
I suppose you can guess what the painful subject is that's dwelling on her mind?
In terms of further bias that the SIS rebutted against, the report mentioned that Guerin's video and photos only showed the parts of Egypt that strike a message of poverty and direness, in a manner that generalized the image of Egypt thusly.
Iran's leaders must realize the direness of their conditions.
Lastly, it is and politicians must show direness in field of promoting the economics of Pakistan better and the poor must not suffer.
It's easy to be cynical and say feeling superior to other nations (especially about football), whining about the mythical good old days (especially telly), accepting education and class systems that allow the families with the most money to succeed and obsessing on the direness of our diet, transport and Bank Holidays.
If the latest polls are overstating the direness of his predicament, it will be because Trump may have recovered slightly by managing to bring back some of the Republican voters he yielded this past ten days.
Children in Aleppo are trapped in a 'living nightmare,' a senior official of the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) said Thursday, stressing yet again, the direness of the situation, particularly for the children, in Syria's war-ravaged Aleppo.
Ironically, the very direness of Florida's situation may have made serious reforms more viable.
Highlighting the direness of the situation in the camps, he spoke of reports of women and girls facing demands for sex to access food or to leave the camps and that early pregnancy and marriage are commonplace.
I think people use that language to express the direness of a situation, so I assume the author was trying to express that.