\ 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

Keep scrolling for more

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.
See More
Recent Examples on the Web: Noun As the video came to a close, Johnson told the students about his Project Rock collaboration with Under Armour and gifted them each with some new gear ahead of their big game. Nicholas Rice,, 14 Oct. 2021 Army researchers have been working on the changes for years, trying to come up with combat gear that is lighter and fits better. Lolita C. Baldor, Anchorage Daily News, 10 Oct. 2021 Army researchers have been working on the changes for years, trying to come up with combat gear that is lighter and fits better. Lolita C. Baldor,, 10 Oct. 2021 Fury credits lead trainer SugarHill Steward with infusing his slick style with an aggressive Kronk Gym gear. Anthony Stitt, Forbes, 7 Oct. 2021 While showers and storms eventually become more scattered, Monahan said there is no opportunity Tuesday to do away with the umbrella and rain gear. Chelsea Prince, ajc, 5 Oct. 2021 For soccer shirts and other gear: Visit Fanatics, Lids or Dick’s Sporting Goods. Tim Bielik, cleveland, 16 Sep. 2021 Maybe everyone had been tired of seeing countless BMW GS bikes packed to the gills with adventure gear? Matt Crisara, Popular Mechanics, 1 Oct. 2021 As part of the STE program, they are taught beekeeping and provided with protective gear such as suits, smokers, rubber boots and gloves. Cari Shane, Scientific American, 27 Sep. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb College football coaches usually gather during the playoff semifinal and championship to offer their analysis, for example, and CBS has tried to gear a broadcast toward kids on Nickelodeon. Chris Bumbaca, USA TODAY, 27 Sep. 2021 Redirects well and does not gear down much when changing direction. oregonlive, 15 Sep. 2021 From food and drinks to gear showcasing your local autumnal squash love, the Queen City offers plenty of chances to totally pumpkin out. Emily Deletter, The Enquirer, 10 Sep. 2021 The plant covered 112 busy acres and was ready to gear production to an all-time high. Wayne Whittaker, Popular Mechanics, 26 Aug. 2021 This year in particular was expensive; crew were harder to find, COVID-19 mitigations had to be put in place, gear to supply the sites was more expensive, and fuel prices had increased. Elizabeth Earl, Anchorage Daily News, 20 Aug. 2021 Click on the Windows icon, then the Settings gear icon on the left, and choose Network & Internet. Simon Hill, Wired, 25 July 2021 Dick's Sporting Goods stores near Milwaukee were also showing limited stock of Finals gear as of Sunday evening. Isabel Koyama, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 5 July 2021 Marx recommends treating your clothes and gear with an insecticide that contains at least 0.5 percent permethrin, which is nontoxic to humans. Washington Post, 24 May 2021

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.

See More

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More About gear

Time Traveler for gear

Time Traveler

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

See more words from the same century

Dictionary Entries Near gear




See More Nearby Entries 

Statistics for gear

Last Updated

19 Oct 2021

Cite this Entry

“Gear.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 19 Oct. 2021.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

Keep scrolling for more

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



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.

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


Test Your Vocabulary

Farm Idioms Quiz

  • cow coming home
  • What does 'poke' refer to in the expression 'pig in a poke'?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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