noun \ˈgir\

: supplies, tools, or clothes needed for a special purpose

: a toothed wheel in a machine

: a part that connects the engine of a vehicle or the pedals of a bicycle to the wheels and controls the speed at which the wheels turn

Full Definition of GEAR

a :  clothing, garments
b :  movable property :  goods
:  equipment, paraphernalia <fishing gear>
a :  the rigging of a ship or boat
b :  the harness especially of horses
dial chiefly British :  absurd talk :  nonsense
dial chiefly British :  doings
a (1) :  a mechanism that performs a specific function in a complete machine <steering gear> (2) :  a toothed wheel (3) :  working relation, position, order, or adjustment <got her career in gear> (4) :  a level or pace of functioning <kicked their performance into high gear>
b :  one of two or more adjustments of a transmission (as of a bicycle or motor vehicle) that determine mechanical advantage, relative speed, and direction of travel
gear·less \-ləs\ adjective

Examples of GEAR

  1. I somehow managed to pack all my gear into one suitcase.
  2. soldiers in full combat gear
  3. a complicated arrangement of gears and shafts
  4. a car with four forward gears
  5. Halfway up the hill, my bike slipped out of gear.

Illustration of GEAR

Origin of GEAR

Middle English gere, from Old Norse gervi, gǫrvi; akin to Old English gearwe equipment, clothing, gearu ready — more at yare
First Known Use: 14th century



: to make (something) suitable for a particular use or type of person

Full Definition of GEAR

transitive verb
a :  to provide (as machinery) with gearing
b :  to connect by gearing
a :  to make ready for effective operation
b :  to adjust so as to match, blend with, or satisfy something <gearing wages to productivity>
intransitive verb
a British of machinery :  to be in gear :  mesh
b :  shift 1c <gear down>
:  to become adjusted so as to match, blend, or harmonize

First Known Use of GEAR



noun    (Concise Encyclopedia)

Machine component consisting of a toothed wheel attached to a rotating shaft. Gears operate in pairs, the teeth of one engaging the teeth of a second, to transmit and modify rotary motion and torque. To transmit motion smoothly, the contacting surfaces of gear teeth must be carefully shaped to a specific profile. The smaller of a gear pair is often known as the pinion. If the pinion is on the driving shaft, the pair acts to reduce speed and to amplify torque; if the pinion is on the driven shaft, the pair acts to increase speed and reduce torque.


Next Word in the Dictionary: gearbox
Previous Word in the Dictionary: geanticline
All Words Near: gear

Seen & Heard

What made you want to look up gear? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

Get Our Free Apps
Voice Search, Favorites,
Word of the Day, and More
Join Us on FB & Twitter
Get the Word of the Day and More