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Mere Definition and Meaning

Edited by Tayyaba Rehman — By Urooj Arif — Published on March 29, 2024
Mere means nothing more than; only or just. e.g., It took him a mere five minutes to solve the puzzle.

Mere Definitions

Being nothing more than specified.
A mere child shouldn't be doing such hard work.
Used to emphasize how small or insignificant someone or something is.
He's a mere assistant in the office.
Just; only.
It was a mere misunderstanding.
Used to emphasize the simplicity or basic nature of something.
It's a mere formality.
Barely sufficient.
We had mere crumbs to eat.
Used to emphasize the surprising nature of something.
The artist was a mere 20 years old.
Of no greater importance.
It's a mere trifle, don't worry about it.
The smallest or slightest.
She lost by a mere second.
Used to introduce a fact that diminishes what was previously said.
The victory was impressive, but it was a mere exhibition match.
Only this and nothing more.
I'm a mere spectator in this debate.
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.
A small lake, pond, or marsh
"Sometimes on lonely mountain meres / I find a magic bark" (Tennyson).
Just, only; no more than, pure and simple, neither more nor better than might be expected.
(obsolete) Pure, unalloyed .
(obsolete) Nothing less than; complete, downright .
Boundary, limit; a boundary-marker; boundary-line.
A body of standing water, such as a lake or a pond. More specifically, it can refer to a lake that is broad in relation to its depth. Also included in place names such as Windermere.
(obsolete) mayor and {{en}}.
A Maori war-club.
To limit; bound; divide or cause division in.
To set divisions and bounds.
(cartography) To decide upon the position of a boundary; to position it on a map.
A pool or lake.
A boundary.
A mare.
To divide, limit, or bound.
Which meared her rule with Africa.
Unmixed; pure; entire; absolute; unqualified.
Then entered they the mere, main sea.
The sorrows of this world would be mere and unmixed.
Only this, and nothing else; such, and no more; simple; bare; as, a mere boy; a mere form.
From mere success nothing can be concluded in favor of any nation.
A small pond of standing water
Being nothing more than specified;
A mere child
Apart from anything else; without additions or modifications;
Only the bare facts
Shocked by the mere idea
The simple passage of time was enough
The simple truth

Mere Snonyms


Relating to the foundation or base; fundamental.
He has a basic understanding of the subject.


Being the only one.
She was the sole survivor of the crash.


Not mixed or adulterated with any other substance or material.
The water from the spring was pure and clean.


Without addition; basic and simple.
The room was furnished with bare necessities.


And no one or nothing more besides; solely or exclusively.
She was the only person at the party I knew.


Not complicated or elaborate.
It's a simple matter of following instructions.


Not decorated or elaborate; simple or basic in character.
We chose a plain design for the living room.


Not mixed or diluted with any different or extra elements; complete and absolute.
They experienced unadulterated joy.


Nothing other than; unmitigated (used for emphasis).
It was sheer luck that we arrived on time.


Not moderated or diminished in any way.
His victory was an undiluted success.

Mere Idioms & Phrases

Mere mention

The simple act of mentioning something.
The mere mention of his name made her smile.

Mere presence

Just being present or existing in a place.
His mere presence in the room commanded respect.

Mere thought

The simple act of thinking about something.
The mere thought of going back to school excited him.

Mere possibility

The slight chance that something might happen.
The mere possibility of rain changed their plans.

Mere idea

The basic concept or notion.
The mere idea of change can be daunting.

Mere words

Words that are seen as insufficient or insubstantial.
To her, his apologies were mere words.

Mere fact

The simple truth or reality of a situation.
The mere fact that he apologized made a big difference.

Mere speculation

Guessing or theorizing without firm evidence.
At this point, any conclusion is mere speculation.

Mere coincidence

Something happening by chance, with no connection.
Meeting her there was a mere coincidence.

Mere formality

Something done only to comply with rules, with no real significance.
Signing the document was a mere formality.

Mere shadow

A faint or weak version of something or someone.
After the illness, he was a mere shadow of his former self.

Mere puppet

Someone who has no real power or influence, controlled by others.
He was considered a mere puppet by his critics.

Mere token

Something symbolic with little practical use.
The gift was a mere token of appreciation.

Mere trifle

Something of little value or importance.
Losing that game was a mere trifle in the grand scheme.

Mere hours

A very short amount of time.
They completed the project in mere hours.

Mere mortal

Emphasizing human limitations compared to something greater.
To solve such a problem, one would have to be more than a mere mortal.

Mere technicality

A minor rule or detail that is used to make a decision or solve a problem.
He was acquitted on a mere technicality.

Mere detail

A minor or unimportant element.
To him, the risks were mere details.

Mere form

The outward appearance or structure of something, without substance.
Their agreement was in mere form, lacking real commitment.

Mere child's play

Something very easy or simple to do.
For a professional like him, the task was mere child's play.

Mere Example Sentences

The hike was a mere three miles, easy for most of the group.
It was a mere oversight that caused the delay.
They managed to survive on mere scraps of food.
A mere apology won't fix the damage done.
The difference between the two options is mere semantics.
The victory, though impressive, was a mere stepping stone for her.
The solution turned out to be a mere adjustment of the settings.
To a seasoned traveler, navigating the busy streets was mere routine.
His role in the project was mere supervision.
To them, the ancient artifact was of mere interest.
The cost of the meal was mere pennies to someone so wealthy.
In the grand scheme of things, these troubles are mere blips.
For a professional athlete, running a mile is mere child's play.
The garden was adorned with mere handfuls of flowers.
She completed the task in mere minutes.

Common Curiosities

Why is it called mere?

The term "mere" comes from the Old English word "mǣre," which originally meant "pure, undiluted" and evolved to mean "only, nothing more than" to emphasize the simplicity or insignificance of something.

How many syllables are in mere?

There is one syllable in "mere."

What is a stressed syllable in mere?

In the word "mere," the single syllable "mere" is stressed.

How is mere used in a sentence?

"Mere" is used to indicate that something is nothing more than what is stated, e.g., It was a mere misunderstanding.

How do we divide mere into syllables?

"Mere" is a single syllable word, so it is not divided further.

What is the pronunciation of mere?

"Mere" is pronounced as /mɪər/ in British English and /mɪr/ in American English.

What is the root word of mere?

The root of "mere" is the Old English word "mǣre," meaning "pure" or "undiluted."

What is the verb form of mere?

"Mere" is not a verb; it is an adjective. Therefore, it does not have a verb form.

Is mere an adverb?

No, "mere" is not an adverb; it is an adjective.

What is the opposite of mere?

The opposite of "mere" could be "significant" or "substantial."

Is mere a noun or adjective?

"Mere" is an adjective.

Is mere a collective noun?

No, "mere" is an adjective, not a noun, and therefore cannot be a collective noun.

Is the word “mere” a Direct object or an Indirect object?

"Mere" is an adjective and does not serve as a direct or indirect object.

What is another term for mere?

Another term for "mere" could be "simple" or "only."

What is the singular form of mere?

"Mere" is used in the same form for both singular and plural contexts.

What is the plural form of mere?

"Mere" does not have a plural form; it remains "mere" in all contexts.

Is mere a negative or positive word?

"Mere" is neutral; its positive or negative connotation depends on the context in which it is used.

Is mere a vowel or consonant?

The word "mere" starts with a consonant.

Is mere a countable noun?

"Mere" is not a noun; it is an adjective and does not have a countable form.

Is the word mere imperative?

"Mere" cannot be imperative as it is an adjective, not a verb.

Which determiner is used with mere?

Determiners such as "a," "the," and possessives can be used with "mere," depending on the context, e.g., "a mere chance," "the mere thought."

Which vowel is used before mere?

The vowel or consonant used before "mere" depends on the preceding word in a sentence, not a rule specific to "mere."

Which preposition is used with mere?

Prepositions are not typically used directly with "mere," but the use depends on the structure of the sentence.

Which conjunction is used with mere?

Conjunctions like "and," "but," or "or" can be used in sentences with "mere," depending on the sentence structure.

What part of speech is mere?

"Mere" is an adjective.

Is mere an abstract noun?

No, "mere" is an adjective, not a noun.

Is the mere term a metaphor?

"Mere" can be used metaphorically to emphasize the simplicity or insignificance of something.

Is the word mere a Gerund?

No, "mere" is an adjective, not a verb, so it cannot form a gerund.

Which article is used with mere?

Both "a" and "the" can be used with "mere," depending on the context and the noun it modifies, e.g., "a mere formality," "the mere idea."

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Author Spotlight

Written by
Urooj Arif
Urooj is a skilled content writer at Ask Difference, known for her exceptional ability to simplify complex topics into engaging and informative content. With a passion for research and a flair for clear, concise writing, she consistently delivers articles that resonate with our diverse audience.
Tayyaba Rehman is a distinguished writer, currently serving as a primary contributor to As a researcher in semantics and etymology, Tayyaba's passion for the complexity of languages and their distinctions has found a perfect home on the platform. Tayyaba delves into the intricacies of language, distinguishing between commonly confused words and phrases, thereby providing clarity for readers worldwide.

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