Be weakened or diminished gradually, as in My patience is wearing thin. [Late 1800s]
Become less convincing, acceptable, or popular, as in His excuses are wearing thin. [First half of 1990s] Both usages transfer the thinning of a physical object, such as cloth, to nonmaterial characteristics.
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Example sentences from the Web for wear thin
Also, she was tall and thin, too, further adding to the ways she met the physical beauty conventions.Why Was Bess Myerson the First and Last Jewish Miss America?|Emily Shire|January 7, 2015|DAILY BEAST
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|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|DAILY BEAST
“I like decorating my slaves,” she said, referencing the rope, her thin, crimson-coated lips peeling off her front teeth.Dungeons and Genital Clamps: Inside a Legendary BDSM Chateau|Ian Frisch|December 20, 2014|DAILY BEAST
This has a warm though a thin soil, which must be highly favorable to the Vine to induce so exclusive a devotion to it.Glances at Europe|Horace Greeley
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
The Princess was pale and thin; and, though dressed superbly, seemed fitter for her chamber.The Pastor's Fire-side Vol. 3 of 4|Jane Porter
Her thin and narrow hands held the balcony railing rather tightly.Bella Donna|Robert Hichens