- a part, as a disk, wheel, or section of a shaft, having cut teeth of such form, size, and spacing that they mesh with teeth in another part to transmit or receive force and motion.
- an assembly of such parts.
- one of several possible arrangements of such parts in a mechanism, as an automobile transmission, for affording different relations of torque and speed between the driving and the driven machinery, or for permitting the driven machinery to run in either direction: first gear; reverse gear.
- a mechanism or group of parts performing one function or serving one purpose in a complex machine: steering gear.
- the lines, tackles, etc., of a particular sail or spar.
- the personal tools, clothing, and other possessions of a sailor.
verb (used with object)
verb (used without object)
- Automotive. to shift the transmission of a vehicle to a lower gear: The truck driver geared down at the top of the hill.
- to reduce in scope or intensity: With less income you'll have to gear down your spending habits.
- to make or get ready for a future event or situation: Insiders say the senator is gearing up to run for governor.
- to get or put on equipment or clothing for a particular purpose: The hikers geared up for the long trek down the mountain.
- to arouse or excite, as with enthusiasm or expectation: The employees were geared up for a hard battle with management over working hours.
- Machinery. in the state in which gears are connected or meshed: The car is in gear.
- in proper or active working order; functioning continuously without trouble: Every department in this company must be in gear at all times.
Origin of gear
Examples from the Web for gear
Our driver glances at us in the rearview mirror and nods before dropping the faded red Toyota Hilux into first gear.Heart of Darkness: Into Afghanistan’s Taliban Valley|Matt Trevithick, Daniel Seckman|November 15, 2014|DAILY BEAST
The fragile peace in Ukraine is being threatened by an influx of gear and armed men.Thousands of Putin’s Troops Now in Ukraine, Analysts Say|Shane Harris|November 11, 2014|DAILY BEAST
But much of that gear went missing from the warehouse before the Kiev unit ever saw action.
A visit to your local pig farm now requires nearly as much preparation and gear as entering a CDC biocontainment zone.Aporkalypse Now: Pig-Killing Virus Could Mean the End of Bacon|Carrie Arnold|August 20, 2014|DAILY BEAST
Corey Feldman used to show up in full Michael Jackson gear and dance in the middle of the dancefloor.Jenny Lewis on 'The Voyager,' the End of Rilo Kiley, and High School Classmate Angelina Jolie|Marlow Stern|August 17, 2014|DAILY BEAST
There were four of the pack animals, each laden with the party's gear.The Caves of Fear|John Blaine
No, no, the warders must bring their own gear with them; they get none here, I promise them.Peveril of the Peak|Sir Walter Scott
Saddles and gear required many repairs—most of them had been hired, and they were not in the best condition.Across Iceland|William Bisiker
In this locomotive the gear is the same as that of the next illustration, but it is securely boxed in a watertight iron cover.
It is plain that a gear, like a lever, may change direction as well as increase or decrease power.Practical Mechanics for Boys|J. S. Zerbe
British Dictionary definitions for gear
- stolen goods
- illegal drugs
Word Origin for gear
Word Origin and History for gear (1 of 2)
c.1200, "fighting equipment," probably from Old Norse gervi "apparel," related to gerr "ready," and gerva "make ready," from Proto-Germanic *garwin- (cf. Old English gearwe "clothing, equipment, ornament;" Old High German garawi "clothing, dress," garawen "to make ready;" German gerben "to tan"). Meaning "toothed wheel in machinery" first attested 1520s. Slang for "male sex organs" from 1670s. British adjective slang sense of "stylish, excellent" first recorded 1951, from earlier that's the gear, expression of approval, 1925.
Word Origin and History for gear (1 of 2)
c.1200, "to equip oneself for fighting; dress," probably from gear (n.). Related: Geared; gearing.
Science definitions for gear
Idioms and Phrases with gear
see high gear; slip a cog (gear).