to carry or have on the body or about the person as a covering, equipment, ornament, or the like: to wear a coat;to wear a saber;to wear a disguise.
to have or use on the person habitually: to wear a wig.
to bear or have in one's aspect or appearance: to wear a smile;to wear an air of triumph.
to cause (garments, linens, etc.) to deteriorate or change by wear: Hard use has worn these gloves.
to impair, deteriorate, or consume gradually by use or any continued process: Long illness had worn the bloom from her cheeks.
to waste or diminish gradually by rubbing, scraping, washing, etc.: The waves have worn these rocks.
to make (a hole, channel, way, etc.) by such action.
to bring about or cause a specified condition in (a person or thing) by use, deterioration, or gradual change: You'll wear that outfit to rags if you don't take better care of it.Years of hard labor had worn him to a shadow.
to weary; fatigue; exhaust: Toil and care soon wear the spirit.
to pass (time) gradually or tediously (usually followed by away or out): We wore the afternoon away in arguing.
Nautical. to bring (a vessel) on another tack by turning until the wind is on the stern.
British Dialect. to gather and herd (sheep or cattle) to a pen or pasture.
to undergo gradual impairment, diminution, reduction, etc., from wear, use, attrition, or other causes (often followed by away, down, out, or off).
to retain shape, color, usefulness, value, etc., under wear, use, or any continued strain: a strong material that will wear;colors that wear well.
(of time) to pass, especially slowly or tediously (often followed by on or away): As the day wore on, we had less and less to talk about.
to have the quality of being easy or difficult to tolerate, especially after a relatively long association: It's hard to get to know him, but he wears well.
Nautical. (of a vessel) to come round on another tack by turning away from the wind.
Obsolete. to be commonly worn; to be in fashion.
the act of wearing; use, as of a garment: articles for winter wear;I've had a lot of wear out of this coat.I had to throw away the shirt after only three wears.
the state of being worn, as on the person.
clothing or other articles for wearing; especially when fashionable or appropriate for a particular function (often used in combination): travel wear;sportswear.
gradual impairment, wasting, diminution, etc., as from use: The carpet shows wear.
the quality of resisting deterioration with use; durability.
wear off, to diminish slowly or gradually or to diminish in effect; disappear: The drug began to wear off.
Idioms about wear
to diminish; weaken: My patience is wearing thin.
to become less appealing, interesting, tolerable, etc.: childish antics that soon wore thin.
- wear·er, noun
- re·wear, verb, re·wore, re·worn, re·wear·ing.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023
How to use wear in a sentence
The next dry day, she invariably looked worse for wear, as if she’d been shivering since our last encounter.How a sickly squirrel offered me unexpected comfort | Pam Spritzer | February 8, 2021 | Washington Post
They also suffer from far less wear and tear over the course of their lifespan.Best mechanical keyboard: Game, code, type, and work smoother and faster | PopSci Commerce Team | February 4, 2021 | Popular-Science
It wouldn’t be unlike the shoewear company to promote a new technology for everyday wear and then incorporate it into their other shoe lines.Nike’s lace-free sneakers offer a perfect fit you simply step into | Claire Maldarelli | February 2, 2021 | Popular-Science
Then when I was pregnant with my son, working at the UN, and unable to find professional maternity wear that was long-lasting, sustainable, and comfortable, I realized there is a huge gap in the market here.The future of maternity workwear is all in the details | Rachel King | January 31, 2021 | Fortune
Microscopic wear and polish on a worn section of the Tabun stone resulted from it having been ground or rubbed against relatively soft material, such as animal hides or plants, the scientists conclude in the January Journal of Human Evolution.The oldest known abrading tool was used around 350,000 years ago | Bruce Bower | January 21, 2021 | Science News
Growing up as a teen in the 1960s, she had yearned to wear the same clothes her girlfriends wore.
You had a great line in your piece on Geoffrey Beene about the “genre” of evening wear.Daphne Merkin on Lena Dunham, Book Criticism, and Self-Examination | Mindy Farabee | December 26, 2014 | THE DAILY BEAST
This is a country where women are allowed to wear one of 14 hairstyles.North Korea’s Secret Movie Bootleggers: How Western Films Make It Into the Hermit Kingdom | Lizzie Crocker | December 22, 2014 | THE DAILY BEAST
Some of the staff who work at this hotel are North Korean and wear traditional North Korean dresses.Inside the ‘Surprisingly Great’ North Korean Hacker Hotel | Michael Daly | December 20, 2014 | THE DAILY BEAST
Yes, your German Shepherd Buster can wear his own health tracker.
She fixed her imploring eyes on the Virgin's face and on the saints; but all seemed to her to wear a forbidding look.Ramona | Helen Hunt Jackson
At home Liszt doesn't wear his long abb's coat, but a short one, in which he looks much more artistic.Music-Study in Germany | Amy Fay
To travelers blessed with golden sunshine, the Rhine may wear a grander, nobler aspect, and to such I leave it.Glances at Europe | Horace Greeley
"I bought them boots to wear only when I go into genteel society," said one of the codfish tribe, to a wag, the other day.The Book of Anecdotes and Budget of Fun; | Various
The Swiss are freemen, and wear the fact unconsciously but palpably on their brows and beaming from their eyes.Glances at Europe | Horace Greeley
British Dictionary definitions for wear (1 of 3)
(tr) to carry or have (a garment, etc) on one's person as clothing, ornament, etc
(tr) to carry or have on one's person habitually: she wears a lot of red
(tr) to have in one's aspect: to wear a smile
(tr) to display, show, or fly: a ship wears its colours
to deteriorate or cause to deteriorate by constant use or action
to produce or be produced by constant rubbing, scraping, etc: to wear a hole in one's trousers
to bring or be brought to a specified condition by constant use or action: to wear a tyre to shreds
(intr) to submit to constant use or action in a specified way: his suit wears well
(tr) to harass or weaken
(when intr, often foll by on) (of time) to pass or be passed slowly
(tr) British slang to accept: Larry won't wear that argument
wear ship to change the tack of a sailing vessel, esp a square-rigger, by coming about so that the wind passes astern
the act of wearing or state of being worn
anything designed to be worn: leisure wear
(in combination): nightwear
deterioration from constant or normal use or action
the quality of resisting the effects of constant use
- wearer, noun
British Dictionary definitions for wear (2 of 3)
nautical to tack by gybing instead of by going through stays
British Dictionary definitions for Wear (3 of 3)
a river in NE England, rising in NW Durham and flowing southeast then northeast to the North Sea at Sunderland. Length: 105 km (65 miles)
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
Other Idioms and Phrases with wear
In addition to the idioms beginning with wear
- wear and tear
- wear another hat
- wear down
- wear off
- wear one's heart on one's sleeve
- wear out
- wear out one's welcome
- wear the pants
- wear thin
- wear two hats
- wear well
- hair shirt, wear a
- if the shoe fits, wear it
- none the worse for (wear)
- worse for wear
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.