\ ˈgir How to pronounce gear (audio) \

Definition of gear

 (Entry 1 of 2)

b : movable property : goods
2 : equipment, paraphernalia fishing gear
3a : the rigging of a ship or boat
b : the harness especially of horses
4 dialectal, chiefly British : absurd talk : nonsense
5 dialectal, chiefly British : doings
6a(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


geared; gearing; gears

Definition of gear (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

1a : to provide (machinery) with gearing (see gearing sense 2)
b : to connect by gearing (see gearing sense 1)
2a : to make ready for effective operation
b : to adjust so as to match, blend with, or satisfy something gearing wages to productivity

intransitive verb

1a British, of machinery : to be in gear : mesh
b : shift sense 1c gear down
2 : to become adjusted so as to match, blend, or harmonize The industry is geared to meet growing consumer demand.

Illustration of gear

Illustration of gear


G gear 6a(2)

In the meaning defined above

Other Words from gear


gearless \ ˈgir-​ləs How to pronounce gear (audio) \ adjective

Examples of gear in a Sentence

Noun I somehow managed to pack all my gear into one suitcase. soldiers in full combat gear a complicated arrangement of gears and shafts a car with four forward gears Halfway up the hill, my bike slipped out of gear.
Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Preparations for the 2022 season are about to kick into full gear, with Auburn’s season opener against Mercer at Jordan-Hare Stadium now exactly one month away. Tom Green |, al, 3 Aug. 2022 So, instead, take more of a hands-off role in managing your team, kick your business into the next gear and start getting all those unnecessary meetings off of everyone’s calendars. George Deeb, Forbes, 3 Aug. 2022 Jane Fonda is kicking her new gig into gear — quite literally! Hedy Phillips, Peoplemag, 3 Aug. 2022 Many business owners were already challenged by staffing shortages before the new COVID subvariant arrived, just as the summer season was swinging into gear. Megan Cerullo, CBS News, 26 July 2022 Ukraine, which normally supplies about 12% of wheat on the global market, is anxious to empty its stuffed grain silos before spoilage sets in and the summer harvest swings into full gear. Fred Weir, The Christian Science Monitor, 26 July 2022 The kits were packed with gear for the children to complete the weeklong program, which is geared toward inspiring children to lead a healthy lifestyle through the lens of NASCAR. From Usa Today Network And Wire Reports, USA TODAY, 21 July 2022 The Fixer is a monthly tech column that responds to reader queries about navigating the digital landscape and solving problems with gear. Daniel Varghese, WSJ, 19 July 2022 Ultimately, though, in the months following Tokyo, his preternatural urge to win kicked into gear. Andrew Greif, Los Angeles Times, 18 July 2022 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb So this is a great way to gear out your alts without needing to slog through 48 more Solstice challenges. Paul Tassi, Forbes, 25 July 2022 Check out these patriotic quotes that will gear you up to celebrate the Fourth of July! Ashley Leath, Country Living, 11 July 2022 Obstacles included everything from nature to traffic to gear to self-doubt. Danny Freedman, Outside Online, 8 July 2022 When Martha announces her plans for the evening at the play's start, he's clearly exhausted, trying to gear himself up for what is to come. Maureen Lee Lenker,, 6 May 2022 The space station’s seven astronauts will unload groceries and gear from Starliner and pack it up with experiments. Marcia Dunn, Orlando Sentinel, 21 May 2022 Or moving trawl gear off the bottom could increase salmon bycatch. Yereth Rosen, Anchorage Daily News, 15 June 2022 The men’s and women’s outerwear and packs and gear look like someone designed them not by committee or obligation but out of joy. David Hochman, Forbes, 28 May 2022 Prizes may include tickets to a UW home game, a football autographed by coach Paul Chryst, Badgers gear, gift cards to Bucky's Locker Room and other food spots like EatStreet, Toppers Pizza and Culver's. Jr Radcliffe, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 25 May 2022 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'gear.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of gear


14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a


1851, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1a

History and Etymology for gear


Middle English gere, from Old Norse gervi, gǫrvi; akin to Old English gearwe equipment, clothing, gearu ready — more at yare


derivative of gear entry 1

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Time Traveler for gear

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The first known use of gear was in the 14th century

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Statistics for gear

Last Updated

8 Aug 2022

Cite this Entry

“Gear.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 17 Aug. 2022.

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More Definitions for gear


\ ˈgir How to pronounce gear (audio) \

Kids Definition of gear

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : equipment camping gear
2 : a group of parts that has a specific function in a machine steering gear
3 : a toothed wheel : cogwheel
4 : the position the gears of a machine are in when they are ready to work in gear
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 : working order or condition He got his career in gear.


geared; gearing

Kids Definition of gear (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : to make ready for operation We need to gear up for production.
2 : to be or make suitable The book is geared to children.

More from Merriam-Webster on gear

Nglish: Translation of gear for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of gear for Arabic Speakers Encyclopedia article about gear


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