\ 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

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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.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Moosejaw has bikes, gear, cycling clothing and accessories. oregonlive, "Is it time to shed some pandemic pounds and that built-up stress? 10 smart ways to eat, sleep better and build a workout plan before summer arrives," 6 Apr. 2021 Gamers for years have spent big on gear—such as weapons, armor or tools to strengthen their characters—in games like Fortnite, Minecraft and World of Warcraft. Marco Quiroz-gutierrez, WSJ, "NFTs Are Spurring a Digital Land Grab—in Videogame Worlds," 22 Mar. 2021 Further changes are coming, better gear, new artifacts, a paragon system that uses post-50 XP, a bunch more events. Paul Tassi, Forbes, "‘Marvel’s Avengers’ Hawkeye Review: Future Imperfections," 19 Mar. 2021 And don’t forget the safety gear, including eye goggles, hearing protection, dust mask, hard hat, and work gloves. Joseph Truini, Popular Mechanics, "How to Build a Shed in 7 Easy Steps," 18 Mar. 2021 By the time the Resonators hit second gear, the years and the wear and tear melted away. Holly Gleason, cleveland, "Michael Stanley 1948-2021: The legacy of Cleveland’s greatest musical treasure," 17 Mar. 2021 Dowse loved being in bands — loved the noise, the gear, the lifestyle. Simon Vozick-levinson, Rolling Stone, "The Everyday Poetry of Dry Cleaning," 17 Mar. 2021 To the side of that main compartment are three open shelves to medium-sized gear, such as your cleats. Chris Hachey, BGR, "Best Golf Storage Organizer," 15 Mar. 2021 The Clearfield mother prepared an emergency stash for her and her 9-year-old daughter filled with survival gear, such as clothing packed in airtight bags, food, water bottles, flashlights and spare batteries. Brian Maffly, The Salt Lake Tribune, "A year after Magna earthquake, here’s what Utahns are doing — or should be — to prepare for the big one," 14 Mar. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Companies often gear messaging toward the mainstream, but as the famous saying goes, sometimes the riches are in the niches. Expert Panel®, Forbes, "13 Ways To Find The Right Brand Voice Before A Company Launches," 5 Apr. 2021 Tarrio, 33, promoted Stone’s legal defense fund, launched an online store selling Stone and Proud Boys gear and led Latinos for Trump in Florida, which worked with the White House’s political liaison office. Washington Post, "U.S. investigating possible ties between Roger Stone, Alex Jones and Capitol rioters," 20 Feb. 2021 Especially now, at a time when we’ve all been forced to gear back. Roy S. Johnson |, al, "‘Why buy it when you can make it?’ Alabama blogger blends modern home sewing with social justice," 24 Nov. 2020 Because the frequency of having it every month, there's not a lot of downtime between one date and then starting to gear back up to prep for the following date. Chris Eggertsen, Billboard, "Strictly Discs in Wisconsin, in a Pandemic: New COVID-19 Closures Are 'Getting Closer'," 16 Nov. 2020 By Wednesday morning, Samperio said his World Series merchandise had surpassed Kelly gear in overall profit. Maria Torres, Los Angeles Times, "Dodgers World Series merchandise and apparel drawing record demand," 28 Oct. 2020 The company will provide paddleboards and gear for guests. Patrick Connolly,, "Halloween in Orlando: Things to do on the haunted holiday," 28 Oct. 2020 As for the unibody Sport SUV, Ford likes to describe it as the mule that will haul gear, bikes and kayaks to the trailhead. Tribune News Service, cleveland, "In the saddle of the bucking Ford Bronco and Bronco Sport," 29 Aug. 2020 The shooting drew condemnation from Democratic Gov. Tony Evers, who also called out 125 members of the National Guard on Monday after protesters set cars on fire, smashed windows and clashed with officers in riot gear the previous night. Mike Householder And Tammy Webber,, "Fires burn overnight in Kenosha, Madison as father of Jacob Blake says son may be paralyzed," 25 Aug. 2020

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.

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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

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for gear

Last Updated

10 Apr 2021

Cite this Entry

“Gear.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 13 Apr. 2021.

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More Definitions for gear



English Language Learners Definition of gear

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: 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



English Language Learners Definition of gear (Entry 2 of 2)

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


\ 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.

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