A wire is a single, usually cylindrical, elongated strand of drawn metal. Wires are used to bear mechanical loads and to carry electricity and telecommunications signals. Standard sizes are determined by various wire gauges. The term wire is also used more loosely to refer to a bundle of such strands, as in 'multistranded wire', which is more correctly termed a cable.
Wire has many uses. It forms the raw material of many important manufacturers, such as the wire-net industry, wire-cloth making and wire-rope spinning, in which it occupies a place analogous to a textile fibre. Wire-cloth of all degrees of strength and fineness of mesh is used for sifting and screening machinery, for draining paper pulp, for window screens, and for many other purposes. Vast quantities of aluminium, copper, nickel and steel wire are employed for telephone and data wires and cables, and as conductors in electric power transmission, and heating. It is in no less demand for fencing, and much is consumed in the construction of suspension bridges, and cages, etc. In the manufacture of stringed musical instruments and scientific instruments wire is again largely used. Among its other sources of consumption it is sufficient to mention pin and hair-pin making, the needle and fish-hook industries, nail, peg and rivet making, and carding machinery; indeed there are few industries into which it does not enter.