\ ˈwer How to pronounce wear (audio) \
wore\ ˈwȯr How to pronounce wore (audio) \; worn\ ˈwȯrn How to pronounce worn (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 constructionsyour 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2 : to become trite, unconvincing, or out-of-date an argument that quickly wore thin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
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 Other new policies the park is implementing due to the pandemic include encouraging guests to wear face masks and to practice social distancing. Rebecca Hennes, Houston Chronicle, "Texas TreeVentures in The Woodlands to reopen in June under new health protocols," 29 May 2020 The event encourages people to keep social distancing in mind and asks that people wear face masks and stay in small groups, no larger than 10 people. Jeanne Houck, Cincinnati.com, "Multiple Cincinnati protests planned over death of George Floyd," 29 May 2020 The order, which also will let people go to the beach again, requires places that reopen to observe social distancing, mask-wearing and other restrictions. Alejandro Serrano, SFChronicle.com, "San Mateo County will allow stores, churches, beaches to reopen starting Monday," 29 May 2020 All worshipers were required to wear masks and to remain 6 feet apart, and parents were not allowed to bring children under 12. Farah Eltohamy, azcentral, "COVID-19 can’t stop Muslims from celebrating Eid – with some tweaks," 29 May 2020 The lawmakers were sworn in after many of them arrived for the opening ceremony wearing face masks and observing regulations. BostonGlobe.com, "Spike in South Korea virus cases shows perils of reopening," 28 May 2020 That progress largely came because many New Yorkers followed the rules, and have been wearing face coverings and maintaining social distance as requested. Alan Feuer, New York Times, "New York City, Battered by Outbreak, Finally Moves Toward Reopening," 28 May 2020 There is a correlation between mask-wearing and rapid suppression of covid-19. The Economist, "Face masks and the coronavirus Masks probably slow the spread of covid-19," 28 May 2020 At one San Antonio-area shopping center, stores rethink how to do business At malls, stickers and signs have been added to remind shoppers to follow social-distancing guidelines and wear masks, and cleaning protocols have been stepped up. Madison Iszler, ExpressNews.com, "How is the pandemic changing retail? One expert weighs in," 28 May 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Sea Star Beachwear espadrilles One of our favorite comfortable walking shoes for travel, these waterproof espadrilles will get plenty of wear in the summer months, and transition from the sand to the streets seamlessly. Madison Flager, Condé Nast Traveler, "51 Mother's Day Gifts, Whether You're Shopping for a Spa Lover, Home Cook, or Hiker," 1 May 2020 Now LaFleur hopes its wear will help hundreds more on the campaign trail. Taylor Telford, BostonGlobe.com, "Women running for office can get free clothing rentals," 19 Feb. 2020 The company has dressed candidates, such as Cynthia Nixon and Rep. Stephanie Murphy, and now LaFleur hopes its wears will help hundreds more on the campaign trail. Taylor Telford, Washington Post, "Are you a woman running for office? M.M. LaFleur wants to lend you campaign trail clothes for free.," 19 Feb. 2020 Share Your Thoughts What is your preferred workout wear? Katharine K. Zarrella, WSJ, "Pull-Ups, Sit-Ups Don’t Hurt as Much as These High-Fashion Gym Get-Ups," 2 Feb. 2020 In fact, for her bridal wear too, Soha chose a golden beige outfit over red, a traditional colour for Punjabi brides. Parul Bhandari, Quartz India, "How Delhi’s super-rich housewives strive to be part of a global elite," 9 Jan. 2020 The warning comes ahead of the charity Save the Children's annual Christmas Jumper Day on December 13, when people in the UK are encouraged to put on their festive wear and donate to charity. Rory Sullivan, CNN, "Christmas sweaters are adding to plastic pollution, environmental charity says," 6 Dec. 2019 While the 2019 Emmys aren't until Sunday night, TV's A-listers have already begun the award show celebrations, stepping out at several pre-Emmys events in their finest fall party wear. Glamour, "The Best Celebrity Looks From the 2019 Pre-Emmys Parties," 21 Sep. 2019 The mother of three from Pflugerville, Texas, runs two blogs, Stylish Gimp and Wheelchair Mommy, along an Instagram account featuring her fashionable everyday wear. Meghan Overdeep, Southern Living, "This Texas Mom (And Her Wheelchair) Were Featured in New Lilly Pulitzer for Target Ad," 22 Aug. 2019

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

2 Jun 2020

Cite this Entry

“Wear.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/wear. Accessed 5 Jun. 2020.

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More Definitions for wear


How to pronounce Wear (audio)

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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More from Merriam-Webster on wear

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for wear

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with wear

Spanish Central: Translation of wear

Nglish: Translation of wear for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of wear for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about wear

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