\ ˈwer How to pronounce wear (audio) \
wore\ ˈwȯr How to pronounce wear (audio) \; worn\ ˈwȯrn How to pronounce wear (audio) \; wearing

Definition of wear

 (Entry 1 of 3)

transitive verb

1 : to bear or have on the person wore a coat
2a : to use habitually for clothing, adornment, or assistance wears a size 10 wear glasses
b : to carry on the person wear a sword
3a : to hold the rank or dignity or position signified by (an ornament) wear the royal crown
b : exhibit, present wore a happy smile commend the book for wearing its research so lightly— Brad Leithauser
c : to show or fly (a flag or colors) on a ship
4a : to cause to deteriorate by use
b : to impair or diminish by use or attrition : consume or waste gradually letters on the stone worn away by weathering
5 : to produce gradually by friction or attrition wear a hole in the rug
6 : to exhaust or lessen the strength of : weary, fatigue
7 : to cause (a ship) to go about with the stern presented to the wind
8 British : to accept or tolerate without complaint : put up with usually used in negative constructions your mates wouldn't wear it— Colin MacInnes

intransitive verb

1a : to endure use : last under use or the passage of time material that will wear for years
b : to retain quality or vitality the classics wear well
2a : to diminish or decay through use the heels of his shoes began to wear
b : to diminish or fail with the passage of time the effect of the drug wore off the day wore on
c : to grow or become by attrition or use the blade wore dull
3 of a ship : to change to an opposite tack by turning the stern to the wind — compare tack
wear on
: irritate, fray the constant beeping wore on my nerves
wear the trousers or wear the pants
: to have the controlling authority in a household
wear thin
1 : to become weak or ready to give way my patience was wearing thin
2 : to become trite, unconvincing, or out-of-date an argument that quickly wore thin



Definition of wear (Entry 2 of 3)

1 : the act of wearing : the state of being worn : use clothes for everyday wear
2a : clothing or an article of clothing usually of a particular kind especially : clothing worn for a special occasion or popular during a specific period
b : fashion, vogue
3 : wearing quality : durability under use
4 : the result of wearing or use : diminution or impairment due to use wear-resistant surface


geographical name
\ ˈwir How to pronounce Wear (audio) \

Definition of Wear (Entry 3 of 3)

river 67 miles (108 kilometers) long in northern England flowing into the North Sea at Sunderland

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Other Words from wear


wearer noun

Examples of wear in a Sentence

Verb He was wearing blue jeans. She wore a red blouse to work. White coats are often worn by doctors. He doesn't wear a watch. a badge worn by police officers Were you wearing a seat belt? She wears her hair in a ponytail. I used to wear my hair long. The teacher was wearing a frown. He wore a hole in his pants. Noun shoes that are perfect for everyday wear The deck is built to withstand years of wear. I got a lot of wear out of these boots. a new line of evening wear The carpet is showing signs of wear. You should inspect the tires for wear.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Most men and women in uniform wear their badge and serve their communities honorably. Tim Darnell, ajc, "READ: Full text of President Joe Biden’s first speech before Congress," 29 Apr. 2021 The audience will be thin and the President will wear a face mask before and after delivering his address, according to a person familiar with the plan. Maegan Vazquez, CNN, "6 things to watch during President Joe Biden's first address to Congress," 28 Apr. 2021 Everyone will wear masks, and high-touch surface areas and equipment will be sanitized after each use. Alison Bowen, chicagotribune.com, "Summer camp rituals amid a pandemic will be different, from more masks to no high-fives — ‘elbow- and foot-fives only’," 28 Apr. 2021 How and where to buy hats the players will wear, shirts and more from the 2021 NFL Draft. Matt Goul, cleveland, "NFL Draft 2021 preview: Everything to know for the Browns, Ohio State and Cleveland," 28 Apr. 2021 Everyone in attendance will wear a mask, though Biden will take his off to address lawmakers. Benjamin Siegel, ABC News, "Congress prepares for 'strange' and 'extraordinary' presidential address," 28 Apr. 2021 Unvaccinated people should still wear masks, and keep at least six feet away from others. Los Angeles Times, "When do I still need to wear a mask and when can I go without? A guide to staying safe," 28 Apr. 2021 Maddock's husband, state Rep, Matt Maddock, R-Milford, and other lawmakers routinely do not wear masks at the capitol. Dave Boucher, Detroit Free Press, "Michigan GOP leader shares misinformation on masks that suggests suing employers," 27 Apr. 2021 Unvaccinated people — defined by the CDC as those who have yet to receive both doses of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine or the one-shot Johnson & Johnson formula — should wear masks at outdoor gatherings that include other unvaccinated people. Mike Stobbe, Star Tribune, "CDC says many Americans can now go outside without a mask," 27 Apr. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Wales, meanwhile, still mandates that people over the age of 11 wear masks in all indoor public places. Washington Post, "The CDC changed its mask guidance for vaccinated Americans. Other countries are taking different approaches.," 28 Apr. 2021 Imagine how many rubber hoses, clamps, fasteners and other wear items have been replaced on most 65-year-old cars in the intervening years, not to mention paint and upholstery. Robert Ross, Robb Report, "Car of the Week: Why This Unrestored 1955 Ferrari Could Fetch a Bonkers $2.6 Million at Auction," 26 Apr. 2021 Casual wear, the academy warned nominees early on, was a no-no. Jake Coyle, The Christian Science Monitor, "2021 Oscar winners: 'Nomadland,' Chloe Zhao, and Anthony Hopkins," 26 Apr. 2021 Casual wear, the academy warned nominees early on, was a no-no. Jake Coyle, Star Tribune, "'Nomadland' wins best picture at a social distanced Oscars," 26 Apr. 2021 Each piece is made from 100 percent European flax, which offers a soft, breezy feel that is perfect for warm weather wear. Travel + Leisure, "You’ll Want to Live in This Linen Loungewear All Summer Long," 25 Apr. 2021 Rather than opt for any pair of gardening shoes, Questlove brought out a pair in gold and paired it with an all-black ensemble that screamed evening wear. Shannon Carlin, refinery29.com, "Despite Formal Dress Code, Crocs & Sneakers Appeared On The Oscars Red Carpet," 25 Apr. 2021 There is also a ban on casual wear, ostensibly to avoid a Sudeikis Situation. Zoe Guy, Marie Claire, "How to Watch the 2021 Oscars," 25 Apr. 2021 Families donned formal wear or their Sunday best for the Sweet Arts Maskerade Ball on April 3 at the Benton Event Center. Cary Jenkins, Arkansas Online, "Formal fundraiser," 25 Apr. 2021

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'wear.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of wear


before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1


15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for wear


Middle English weren, from Old English werian; akin to Old Norse verja to clothe, invest, spend, Latin vestis clothing, garment, Greek hennynai to clothe

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Time Traveler for wear

Time Traveler

The first known use of wear was before the 12th century

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Statistics for wear

Last Updated

30 Apr 2021

Cite this Entry

“Wear.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/wear. Accessed 9 May. 2021.

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More Definitions for wear



English Language Learners Definition of wear

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: to use or have (something) as clothing : to have (a shirt, pants, etc.) over part of your body
: to use or have (something) on your body
: to grow or arrange (your hair) in a particular way



English Language Learners Definition of wear (Entry 2 of 2)

: the act of using something as clothing : the act of wearing something
: the act of using something
: clothing that is designed for a specified kind of person, occasion, or use


\ ˈwer How to pronounce wear (audio) \
wore\ ˈwȯr \; worn\ ˈwȯrn \; wearing

Kids Definition of wear

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : to use as an article of clothing or decoration He's wearing boots. She wears a ribbon in her hair.
2 : to carry or use on the body I am wearing perfume.
3 : show entry 1 sense 1 He always wears a smile.
4 : to damage, waste, or produce by continued use … I had gone … by a different way so as not to wear a trail.— Scott O'Dell, Island of the Blue Dolphins
5 : to make tired
6 : to last through long use The cloth wears well.
7 : to lessen or end with the passing of time The day wore on.
wear out
1 : to make useless by long or hard use

Other Words from wear

wearer noun



Kids Definition of wear (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : the act of wearing : the state of being worn
2 : clothing for a particular group or for a particular occasion children's wear rain wear
3 : damage caused by use

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