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.
implements, tools, or apparatus, especially as used for a particular occupation or activity; paraphernalia: fishing gear.
a harness, especially of horses.
the lines, tackles, etc., of a particular sail or spar.
the personal tools, clothing, and other possessions of a sailor.
portable items of personal property, including clothing; possessions: The campers keep all their gear in footlockers.
wearing apparel; clothing: The fashion pages of the Sunday paper are featuring the latest fall gear.
armor or arms.
to provide with or connect by gearing.
to put in or into gear.
to provide with gear; supply; equip.
to prepare, adjust, or adapt to a particular situation, person, etc., in order to bring about satisfactory results: The producers geared their output to seasonal demands.
to fit exactly, as one part of gearing into another; come into or be in gear.
Slang. great; wonderful.
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.
Idioms about gear
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.
in / into high gear, in or into a state of utmost speed, activity, or efficiency: Military rearmament moved into high gear.
out of gear, Machinery. in the state in which gears are not connected or meshed: The engine is out of gear.
shift / switch gears, to change one's attitude, course of action, methods, etc., in an abrupt, dramatic, or unexpected manner: In the middle of the second act the play shifts gears from comedy to tragedy.
- gearless, adjective
- re·gear, verb
- un·geared, adjective
- well-geared, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023
How to use gear in a sentence
Quality can be found in the most mundane works of man—even within the rusting gears of a motorcycle engine.Zen, Motorcycles, And The Cult of Tech: How Robert Pirsig’s Classic Anticipated the Future | Nathaniel Rich | August 31, 2014 | THE DAILY BEAST
The duo will help revamp retail stores as the technology brand reportedly gears up to launch wearable technology.George Clooney Is All About Armani for His Wedding; Apple Snags Another Exec from Saint Laurent | The Fashion Beast Team | August 7, 2014 | THE DAILY BEAST
The function and structure of the watch only needs to be explained in terms of springs, gears, and wheels.The Science Community’s Fight Over an Artificial Brain | Elizabeth Picciuto | July 10, 2014 | THE DAILY BEAST
The identity formed 300 years ago is changing like the gears of the bicycles that left from Yorkshire.A British Start to the Tour de France Forces the English to Wonder: What Does Being English Mean Anymore? | Clive Irving | July 6, 2014 | THE DAILY BEAST
What actually happened gave me a sense of what it must have been like for fans whose teams fell into the gears of the 46 Defense.
I suppose it's some parental promise she's made, or some skin-game buyer has been through here and threw a wrench in the gears.David Lannarck, Midget | George S. Harney
The purpose of this appliance is to provide a horizontal shaft upon which pulleys or driving gears may be mounted.The Boy Mechanic, Book 2 | Various
But all the answer they got was, an emphatic "Don't change gears as if you were running a thrashing machine, Mac."Red Pepper Burns | Grace S. Richmond
He directed his car into the garage with noiseless shifting of gears.Mary Louise and Josie O'Gorman | Emma Speed Sampson
The gears on the mechanical computer were really sharp and precise; they looked like you could cut yourself on them.Makers | Cory Doctorow
British Dictionary definitions for gear
a toothed wheel that engages with another toothed wheel or with a rack in order to change the speed or direction of transmitted motion
a mechanism for transmitting motion by gears, esp for a specific purpose: the steering gear of a boat
the engagement or specific ratio of a system of gears: in gear; high gear
personal equipment and accoutrements; belongings
equipment and supplies for a particular operation, sport, etc: fishing gear
nautical all equipment or appurtenances belonging to a certain vessel, sailor, etc
short for landing gear
informal up-to-date clothes and accessories, esp those bought by young people
a less common word for harness (def. 1)
in gear working or performing effectively or properly
out of gear out of order; not functioning properly
(tr) to adjust or adapt (one thing) so as to fit in or work with another: to gear our output to current demand
(tr) to equip with or connect by gears
(intr) to be in or come into gear
(tr) to equip with harness
- gearless, adjective
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
Scientific definitions for gear
A wheel with teeth around its rim that mesh with the teeth of another wheel to transmit motion. Gears are used to transmit power (as in a car transmission) or change the direction of motion in a mechanism (as in a differential axle). Fixed ratios of speed in various parts of a machine is often established by the arrangement of gears.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Other Idioms and Phrases with gear
see high gear; slip a cog (gear).
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.