Quantcast
Merriam-Webster Logo
  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
  • Scrabble
  • Spanish Central
  • Learner's Dictionary
1

gear

play
noun \ˈgir\

Simple Definition of gear

  • : 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

Source: Merriam-Webster's Learner's Dictionary

Full Definition of gear

  1. 1 a :  clothing, garments b :  movable property :  goods

  2. 2 :  equipment, paraphernalia <fishing gear>

  3. 3 a :  the rigging of a ship or boat b :  the harness especially of horses

  4. 4 dial chiefly British :  absurd talk :  nonsense

  5. 5 dial chiefly British :  doings

  6. 6 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

gearless play \-ləs\ adjective

Examples of gear in a sentence

  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


2

gear

verb

Simple Definition of gear

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

Source: Merriam-Webster's Learner's Dictionary

Full Definition of gear

  1. transitive verb
  2. 1 a :  to provide (as machinery) with gearing b :  to connect by gearing

  3. 2 a :  to make ready for effective operation b :  to adjust so as to match, blend with, or satisfy something <gearing wages to productivity>

  4. intransitive verb
  5. 1 a British of machinery :  to be in gear :  mesh b :  shift 1c <gear down>

  6. 2 :  to become adjusted so as to match, blend, or harmonize

1851

First Known Use of gear

1851



GEAR Defined for Kids

1

gear

play
noun \ˈgir\

Definition of gear for Students

  1. 1 :  equipment <camping gear>

  2. 2 :  a group of parts that has a specific function in a machine <steering gear>

  3. 3 :  a toothed wheel :  cogwheel

  4. 4 :  the position the gears of a machine are in when they are ready to work <in gear>

  5. 5 :  one of the adjustments in a motor vehicle that determine the direction of travel and the relative speed between the engine and the motion of the vehicle <reverse gear>

  6. 6 :  working order or condition <He got his career in gear.>




2

gear

play
verb

Definition of gear for Students

gearedgearing

  1. 1 :  to make ready for operation <We need to gear up for production.>

  2. 2 :  to be or make suitable <The book is geared to children.>





Seen and Heard

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

WORD OF THE DAY

a timid, meek, or unassertive person

Get Word of the Day daily email!

WORD GAMES

Take a 3-minute break and test your skills!

alt-5746713d76276

Which of these is a synonym of nonplus?

reduce perplex disapprove soothe
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

TAKE THE QUIZ
SCRABBLE® Sprint

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ