\ 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 In one example, both students joked about being decked out in college gear at US airports to avoid excessive screening from security personnel overly suspicious of travelers from the Middle East. Globe Staff,, 13 May 2022 In addition to pollution, sea turtles are threatened from collisions with boats, getting caught in fishing gear, and losing nesting habitats related to coastal development, vehicle traffic and other human activities such as plastic pollution. Miriam Porter, Forbes, 13 May 2022 Miller and his crew were dressed in protective gear and marked as journalists. Miriam Berger, Washington Post, 12 May 2022 However, in our passing-time metrics, which are done in top gear, the new Si shows off that lower torque peak with a 2.2-second-quicker time from 30 to 50 mph and a 0.1-second-quicker run from 50 to 70 mph. Austin Irwin, Car and Driver, 12 May 2022 There are jets pulling 10Gs, the metal sound of cockpit sticks pulled in gear, epic dogfights and the whine of machinery balking at the demands put on it. Mark Kennedy, Chron, 12 May 2022 Julianne Hough, she's usually decked out in workout gear, showing off the latest from KINRGY, her dance platform. Good Housekeeping Editors, Good Housekeeping, 10 May 2022 Either way, though, resolving (most of) the tension in the show’s central relationship lets creators Lucia Aniello, Paul W. Downs and Jen Statsky write in a different gear. Caroline Framke, Variety, 6 May 2022 Volunteers in fluorescent rain gear directed drivers where to line up. Karie Angell Luc, Chicago Tribune, 4 May 2022 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb 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 Some of the components of future missions, particularly gear to communicate with astronauts and keep them alive, needs to be demo’d in a deep space environment. Tim Fernholz, Quartz, 17 Feb. 2022 Visitors can rent boats and gear at half a dozen marinas around the lake's edge. Megan Marples, CNN, 3 Feb. 2022 The television cameras, during overtime, panned to a steamed fan in Steelers gear inside the stadium. Andrew Beaton, WSJ, 10 Jan. 2022 This has allowed the company to survive $1.3 billion in negative free cash flow last year and gear back up for reopening. Chuck Jones, Forbes, 31 May 2021 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

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for gear

Last Updated

16 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Gear.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 28 May. 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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