gear

1 of 2

noun

1
b
: movable property : goods
2
: equipment, paraphernalia
fishing gear
3
a
: 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
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 adjective

Illustration of gear

Illustration of gear
  • G gear 6a(2)

gear

2 of 2

verb

geared; gearing; gears

transitive verb

1
a
: to provide (machinery) with gearing (see gearing sense 2)
b
: to connect by gearing (see gearing sense 1)
2
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

1
a
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.

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
Perhaps the most remarkable aspect of the long take comes toward its end, when the camera moves to a different location and shifts gears from tragedy to comedy for an entirely new scene that begins as part of the same shot. Jim Hemphill, IndieWire, 9 July 2024 Talia Abbas, senior shopping editor My workout gear has most definitely seen better days... Laura Jackson, Vogue, 9 July 2024
Verb
Amidst all of the amazing performances, the focus of the evening was geared towards Frankie Beverly’s final farewell. Okla Jones, Essence, 9 July 2024 The exterior decks are also geared toward relaxation. Rachel Cormack, Robb Report, 8 July 2024 See all Example Sentences for gear 

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'gear.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

Etymology

Noun

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

Verb

derivative of gear entry 1

First Known Use

Noun

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

Verb

1851, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1a

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

Dictionary Entries Near gear

Cite this Entry

“Gear.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/gear. Accessed 19 Jul. 2024.

Kids Definition

gear

1 of 2 noun
1
: equipment sense 2
camping gear
electronic gear
2
a
: a mechanism that performs a specific function in a machine
steering gear
b
: a toothed wheel : cogwheel
3
a
: working order, relation, or adjustment
got her career in gear
b
: one of the adjustments of a transmission (as of a bicycle or motor vehicle) that determine the direction of travel and the relative speed of the engine and the vehicle
gearless adjective

gear

2 of 2 verb
1
: to provide or connect with gearing
2
: to prepare for operation
gear up for production
3
: to make suitable
a book geared for children

More from Merriam-Webster on gear

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!