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.

Example Sentences

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
There’s a lot of gear to tote along with your skis. Katie Kommer, Popular Mechanics, 23 Jan. 2023 But sometimes the hold is full of gear with no room for the kayak. Field & Stream Commerce Team, Field & Stream, 23 Jan. 2023 Meanwhile, a different piece of gear—a thermal camera—sees a different part of the electromagnetic spectrum, which is longwave infrared; that’s emissive, as opposed to reflected light. Rob Verger, Popular Science, 16 Jan. 2023 After unloading several thousand pounds of gear, the first of many shipments, the men settled into their simple lodgings. David Reamer, Anchorage Daily News, 15 Jan. 2023 Heavy racks of gear have been installed throughout the cabin with artful efficiency. Raymond Zhong, BostonGlobe.com, 14 Jan. 2023 Heavy racks of gear have been installed throughout the cabin with artful efficiency. Raymond Zhong Erin Schaff, New York Times, 14 Jan. 2023 These are a convenient way for people coming from out of town to camp without flying with a ton of gear. Kelsi Halverson, Los Angeles Times, 13 Jan. 2023 Pocket hand warmers are another of Nagakyrie’s go-to pieces of gear. Alex Hazlett, SELF, 8 Dec. 2022
Verb
Either way, the fabric should be tough enough to protect the workout clothes and gear within. Christian Gollayan, Men's Health, 7 Nov. 2022 As with most outdoor kids gear, your results may vary, but my experiences with the Shotgun Child Seat + Handlebars thus far have been extremely positive. Frederick Dreier, Outside Online, 20 Dec. 2022 There is also a garage aft near the sunbed that can house water toys, gear and even a small dinghy. Rachel Cormack, Robb Report, 12 Dec. 2022 Elias was Houston’s director of amateur scouting in 2012 and remembers seeing more Rangers gear around the city. Peter Abraham, BostonGlobe.com, 12 Nov. 2022 In 1937, Washburn left his cameras and gear behind while attempting to hike out of the Saint Elias Range. Frederick Dreier, Outside Online, 27 Oct. 2022 From travel logistics to gear choices and packet pick-up, there’s enough to manage without having to stress out about your nutrition. Kylee Van Horn And Allison Knott, Outside Online, 26 Oct. 2022 Get all of your Major League Baseball postseason gear below: Mark Heim is a sports reporter for The Alabama Media Group. Mark Heim | Mheim@al.com, al, 18 Oct. 2022 The Ravens seemed to gear the offseason moves to counter a Cincinnati offense featuring Joe Burrow and a trio of talented receivers, but their defense isn’t gelling just yet. Michael Niziolek, cleveland, 7 Oct. 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.

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 1 Feb. 2023.

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

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