\ 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 Many people rave about tray-style units because your gear can cantilever over the edge a bit. Collin Morgan, Car and Driver, 28 June 2022 One fan created a sticker depicting Monte in his fly gear, inspiring Ruggles to use the image to create merchandise of the singing donkey. Ariana Garcia, Chron, 27 June 2022 The outer layer is typically made with nylon or Lycra, just like your favorite moisture-wicking workout gear, and is finished with a liquid-repellent film for extra protection. Sarah Madaus, SELF, 23 June 2022 And the water-resistant exterior works to absorb any excess snow or rainwater, making the mats a great place to leave your snorkel gear, rain boots, or snow boots to dry. Nicol Natale,, 22 June 2022 Prosecutors also say Nordean and Biggs led efforts to organize and recruit Proud Boys followers to come to Washington and raised funds for their protective gear and radios. Spencer S. Hsu, Washington Post, 21 June 2022 This Radio Flyer wagon can be used as a traditional wagon to haul all your beach gear, or as a two-seater for children. Jamie Kim, Good Housekeeping, 21 June 2022 Molle panels for your gear and an ARB air compressor with multiple attachment sites. Bryan Hood, Robb Report, 21 June 2022 Prepping for a backpacking trip looks something like this: lay out your gear, pack the essentials, then agonize over the little things that add weight but boost comfort and fun. Outside Online, 16 June 2022 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb 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 Here’s the apparel, equipment, and gear that Outside staffers and contributors are gifting this Mother’s Day. The Editors, Outside Online, 21 Apr. 2022 These assets may include vehicles, extra personnel, communications gear and robust tactical units such as the Secret Service Counter Assault Team (CAT), DSS Mobile Security Deployment (MSD) and U.S. Military Special Operations. Bydonald J. Mihalek, ABC News, 9 May 2022 In November, Hunter Schuler stuffed a weekend’s worth of clothes and gear into a duffel bag, said goodbye to his wife, and drove from Austin to San Antonio for his monthly National Guard drill. Rachel Monroe, The New Yorker, 26 Apr. 2022 Bring your tent, sleeping bag and gear for an Earth Day campout at Hopkins Wilderness Park in Redondo Beach. Mary Forgione, Los Angeles Times, 21 Apr. 2022 Two of the companies the team brought on as partners this season were the ones with healthy roots to the city, Westland Distillery and C.C. Filson Co, a premium outerwear and gear brand with Seattle roots dating back to 1897. Hudson Lindenberger, Forbes, 17 Mar. 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

3 Jul 2022

Cite this Entry

“Gear.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 3 Jul. 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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