\ 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2 : to become trite, unconvincing, or out-of-date an argument that quickly wore thin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 Those doing the test are asked to wear face masks, social distance and also to not eat or drink at least 20 minutes prior to testing. Jeff Forward, Chron, "Free COVID testing truck to offer daily tests in Woodlands," 23 Oct. 2020 The judge required jurors, attorneys and others in attendance to wear masks. Tracy Neal, Arkansas Online, "Drug, gun offenses net 58 year prison sentence for Louisiana man," 23 Oct. 2020 In Pennsylvania, the restaurant Taste of Sicily was hit with nearly $10,000 in citations for reopening without a mandate to wear masks or social distance -- a decision the owners left up to customers, the Daily Caller reported. Peter Aitken, Fox News, "New Hampshire restaurant opts to shut down rather than enforce face-mask mandate," 23 Oct. 2020 In a blog post on the Arizona Department of Health Services' website Thursday, Dr. Cara Christ, the agency's director, noted that Arizonans shouldn't let their guards down and should continue to wear masks, distance and wash their hands. Rachel Leingang, The Arizona Republic, "Trump mentions Arizona's COVID-19 spike, saying it's now gone. But state faces fastest spread since June," 23 Oct. 2020 Trump has repeatedly used Fauci's old remarks about the coronavirus, such as saying that people didn't need to wear masks at the beginning of the pandemic, in an effort to denigrate and delegitimize the health official. Tyler Van Dyke, Washington Examiner, "Anthony Fauci: Trump hasn't met with the coronavirus task force in 'several months'," 23 Oct. 2020 The airline will also continue enforcing its strict policy of requiring passengers to wear face masks. Alison Fox, Travel + Leisure, "Southwest Will Stop Blocking Middle Seats Ahead of Holiday Travel," 22 Oct. 2020 All team personnel had to wear masks in hotels during away series and were isolated in those locations during their stay. NBC News, "As the World Series begins, here's how baseball pulled off its pandemic season," 20 Oct. 2020 At most haunted houses, guests have to wear masks, too. Sean P. Means, The Salt Lake Tribune, "Utah’s haunted houses make changes to prevent a real-life fear: COVID-19," 15 Oct. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun The two-wheel-drive option, claims Teledyne, improves gas mileage and reduces drive-train wear on good road surfaces where 4WD is not needed. Murray Rubenstein, Popular Mechanics, "The Jeep Is Dead, Long Live the HMMWV," 21 Oct. 2020 No one — repeat no one — is desperate for running backs with extended wear on the tread. Tim Cowlishaw, Dallas News, "The Cowboys never should have paid Ezekiel Elliott. Loss to Cardinals just provided more proof.," 20 Oct. 2020 This 'Freaky Fabric' is dotted with holes and fabricated wear that gives it a rustic, eerie look and can be stretched and shaped. Madison Durham, USA TODAY, "16 Halloween essentials from Walmart you can still get delivered," 16 Oct. 2020 My last public drink was consumed on March 6: a Bud Light at the Hogs and Heifers Saloon in Las Vegas, possibly the least socially distanced place on earth, where the all-female staff wear Daisy Duke shorts and dance on the bar top. Nick Heil, Outside Online, "I Missed Bars. So I Built One in My Own Backyard.," 15 Oct. 2020 During the pandemic, Uniqlo has also moved more sales online and launched a popular ‘quarantine wear’ line that includes a smash hit new face mask. Grady Mcgregor, Fortune, "Xi Jinping’s new economic strategy for China: ‘Dual circulation’ or doublespeak?," 15 Oct. 2020 Topping that list is the Kitsch Leopard Cotton Face Mask, a set of three comfortable and stylish masks that resist overheating during continuous wear. Michael Pollick, chicagotribune.com, "The best cloth face mask," 9 Oct. 2020 In years past, winter wear has been straightforward, emphasizing either comfort and warmth or glittery party attire. Sara Holzman, Marie Claire, "The Winter Trends to Know and Shop for 2020-2021," 9 Oct. 2020 However, the shifts in consumer habits to automated drying machines in the 1970s to polyesters and wrinkle-free products in the 1980s to casual wear in the 20th century had slowly caused hand laundry businesses to falter. NBC news, "'A sad and glorious history': One of NYC's last Chinese hand laundries closes," 9 Oct. 2020

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

26 Oct 2020

Cite this Entry

“Wear.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/wear. Accessed 30 Oct. 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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