[ wair-ing ]
/ ˈwɛər ɪŋ /


gradually impairing or wasting: Reading small print can be wearing on the eyes.
wearying or exhausting: a wearing task.
relating to or made for wear.

Nearby words

  1. wearable tech,
  2. wearable technology,
  3. wearer,
  4. weariful,
  5. weariless,
  6. wearing apparel,
  7. wearing course,
  8. wearingly,
  9. wearisome,
  10. wearproof

Origin of wearing

First recorded in 1805–15; wear + -ing2

Related formswear·ing·ly, adverbun·wear·ing, adjective

Origin of wear

before 900; (v.) Middle English weren to have (clothes) on the body, waste, damage, suffer waste or damage, Old English werian; cognate with Old Norse verja, Gothic wasjan to clothe; (noun) late Middle English were act of carrying on the body, derivative of the v.; akin to Latin vestis clothing (see vest)

Related formswear·er, nounre·wear, verb, re·wore, re·worn, re·wear·ing.

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for wearing

British Dictionary definitions for wearing


/ (ˈwɛərɪŋ) /


causing fatigue or exhaustion; tiring
Derived Formswearingly, adverb


/ (wɪə) /


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)


/ (wɛə) /

verb wears, wearing, wore or worn


Derived Formswearer, noun

Word Origin for wear

Old English werian; related to Old High German werien, Old Norse verja, Gothic vasjan


/ (wɛə) /

verb wears, wearing, wore or worn

nautical to tack by gybing instead of by going through stays

Word Origin for wear

C17: from earlier weare, of unknown origin

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

Word Origin and History for wearing
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Idioms and Phrases with wearing


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

also see:

  • 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.