mere Definition

  • 1used to emphasize how small or insignificant someone or something is
  • 2nothing more than; only

Using mere: Examples

Take a moment to familiarize yourself with how "mere" can be used in various situations through the following examples!

  • Example

    The mere thought of it makes me shiver.

  • Example

    It was a mere coincidence that we met again.

  • Example

    He's a mere child, he can't do it alone.

  • Example

    She's not interested in money for its own sake, but for the mere fact that it gives her freedom.

mere Synonyms and Antonyms

Phrases with mere

  • a procedure or action that is done as a matter of course or tradition, without any real intention or effect


    The meeting was just a mere formality, as the decision had already been made.

  • an ordinary person who is subject to death and decay, as opposed to a god or immortal being


    Even the most successful people are mere mortals who face challenges and setbacks.

  • mere seconds/minutes/hours

    a very short amount of time, often used to describe how quickly something happens


    The accident happened in mere seconds, but its impact was long-lasting.

Origins of mere

from Old English 'mǣre', meaning 'boundary, limit'


Summary: mere in Brief

The term 'mere' [mɪər] emphasizes the smallness or insignificance of someone or something. It can also mean 'nothing more than' or 'only,' as in 'It was a mere coincidence that we met again.' Phrases like 'mere formality' and 'mere mortal' extend the sense of triviality, while 'mere seconds/minutes/hours' denotes a very short amount of time.

How do native speakers use this expression?