\ 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 \ -​ləs How to pronounce gearless (audio) \ adjective

Examples of gear in a Sentence


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

Tonight's glittery number is a formal upgrade from Duchess Kate's earlier looks today, which included workout gear and sneakers for outdoor activities with local children, and a bright red Carolina Herrera coat dress. Erica Gonzales, Harper's BAZAAR, "Kate Middleton Sparkles in a Green Missoni Dress in Ireland," 27 Feb. 2019 Prince Edward was in riding gear and a red and black riding hat. Elizabeth Angell, Town & Country, "Prince Edward and Queen Elizabeth Went for a Mother-Son Ride Around Windsor This Weekend," 19 Nov. 2018 It also could be increased fishing pressure with more gear in the water, and even just more reporting of entanglements. Anchorage Daily News, "Whale strandings off Washington-Oregon coast highest in nearly 2 decades," 3 July 2018 Thanks to his chic mama, newborn Crew Gaines already has some of the most stylish baby gear around and his nursery is no exception. Jessica Leigh Mattern, Country Living, "Take a Peek Inside Chip and Joanna Gaines’ Farmhouse Nursery for Baby Crew," 2 July 2018 After fishing on the tour for several years, and also in team events, Hays started doing marketing for fishing gear companies, which led to her current job as the Bass Community Leader for Costa Sunglasses. Brendan Leonard, Outside Online, "20 Things That Take Longer Than the Nose Ascent," 18 June 2018 Her accreditation as an outdoor climbing instructor and her membership in the American Mountain Guides Association often gets her up to 50% off retail prices on gear. Jen Murphy, WSJ, "An Elite Ice Climber’s Year-Round Workout," 23 Feb. 2019 She's gone to games with her family and even sported her favorite team's gear. Tamara Fuentes, Seventeen, "5 Things to Know About "Roswell, New Mexico" Star Jeanine Mason," 15 Jan. 2019 Expect to deal with warring factions, difficult moral quandaries, and hard choices over what gear to wear. Andrew Webster, The Verge, "The 40 games we can’t wait to play in 2019," 26 Dec. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

The existing Microsoft 365 service for enterprises covers Windows 10, Office 365 and a bundle of enterprise services called EMS, mainly geared at device management. Mark Hachman, PCWorld, "A Microsoft 365 subscription for consumers wouldn't work without the Xbox," 12 Dec. 2018 Here’s my go-to gear guide for staying warm: Start with a skintight base layer. Laura Schwecherl, SELF, "3 Simple Things I Do to Make Winter Running More Enjoyable," 8 Dec. 2018 Activities, geared mainly for children, included a balloon artist, face painting, a bounce house, petting zoo and pony rides. Chuck Fieldman,, "Taste of Oak Brook beats the heat with plenty of food, activities, entertainment and fireworks," 5 July 2018 Trailer-Park Family Ride at 10:30 a.m. Sunday beginning at 301 Milam St. in Market Square is a family friendly ride geared for those who have child trailers. Terry St. John, Houston Chronicle, "Greater Houston athletic activities listings: June 22-24," 20 June 2018 The latter will include a community garden, and is ultimately geared for student participation in district science, technology, engineering, arts and math (STEAM) programs. Jennifer Van Grove,, "Education Board to vote on replacing Scripps school with luxury apartments," 18 June 2018 Westfield's Grand Park seeks to make Colts 'new bar' for NFL training camp Colts City is a fan experience geared for the whole family and is open each day practice is open to the public. Andrew Hussey, Indianapolis Star, "Here’s how to get free Colts training camp tickets," 14 June 2018 Come out to enjoy historical reenactments, live performance arts, panel discussions, and other activities geared for those of all ages., "Paul Simon, Harry Styles, FringeA-Thon, Wiggle Wiggle Wiggle! Tour, and other happening in Philadelphia, June 15-22," 14 June 2018 Benefit for Camp Imagine, a summer program geared for students with special needs. Mark Rapp,, "Cleveland Arts listings for May 11-17: Disney's "Aladdin" at Playhouse Square & More," 10 May 2018

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

Statistics for gear

Last Updated

13 Mar 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for gear

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

See more words from the same century

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
: 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.

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on gear

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for gear

Spanish Central: Translation of gear

Nglish: Translation of gear for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of gear for Arabic Speakers Encyclopedia article about gear

Comments on gear

What made you want to look up gear? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


the way words of a language are spelled

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

A Green Quiz

  • shamrock
  • What is the best definition of green-eyed monster?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?


Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.


Love words? Need even more definitions?

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