\ˈwer \
wore\ ˈwȯr \; worn\ ˈwȯrn \; 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2 : to become trite, unconvincing, or out-of-date an argument that quickly wore thin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 \

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


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.


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

The suspect — described as a heavy-set man in his late 20s to mid-30s wearing a white shirt, blue jacket and long pants — fled in a grey sedan with tinted windows, authorities said. Michael Williams, OrlandoSentinel.com, "UCF police searching for man who exposed himself on campus in 3rd incident this week," 13 July 2018 At the formal event, Meghan wore a chic 1950s-style navy dress from Dior, which drew comparisons to Audrey Hepburn. PEOPLE.com, "Meghan Markle Is Doing Her Own Makeup Now and It's 'So Good,' Says Her Wedding Makeup Artist Pal," 12 July 2018 When Canova’s statue arrived in Raleigh, N.C., in 1821, the American press went wild for the likeness of the first president, wearing Roman military dress and drafting his farewell address, by the Italian neoclassical sculptor. New York Times, "23 Art Exhibitions to View in N.Y.C. This Weekend," 12 July 2018 The duchess wore a custom olive green dress from Ralph Lauren for the christening of Prince Louis Monday at the Chapel Royal in St. James's Palace in London. Hannah Yasharoff, USA TODAY, "All the details on Duchess Meghan's week of flawless fashion," 12 July 2018 Authorities described the assailant as a man in his 30s who was 5 feet 7 inches tall and wearing a black t-shirt. Katherine Nails, Philly.com, "1 dead, 6 shot in just more than an hour in Philly," 12 July 2018 McConnell, wearing a green shirt tucked into blue jeans, isn't seen reacting or responding to the protesters. Thomas Novelly, The Courier-Journal, "Hecklers spoil another Mitch McConnell meal by blaring 'Fight The Power'," 9 July 2018 Mitchell experienced this type of response to braids back in high school, showing just how deeply these negative attitudes towards hairstyles typically worn by black women actually run. Devon Abelman, Allure, "Model Salem Mitchell Is Sick of Black Women's Hairstyles Being Labeled "Ghetto"," 13 July 2018 The Air Jordan 1, available July 21, recasts the retro, high-top shoe in rich red or white leather with a crimson tongue concealed behind a key-ring zip (as worn by Wintour in the video, above). Monica Kim, Vogue, "This Is the Ultimate Fashion Sneaker: Air Jordans, Inspired by Anna Wintour," 12 July 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Patients wrap up in a blanket and wear covers over their shoes to prevent salt getting on their clothing. Jordyn Noennig, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Have respiratory and sinus problems? Salt therapy could help. It did for me.," 25 May 2018 Her latest is a new label, La Vie, a collection of reimagined casual wear with nods to New York and Parisian chic fashions. Kathleen Luppi, latimes.com, "Rebecca Taylor makes Fashion Island boutique her flagship store in California," 10 May 2018 The 100 percent Alpaca wool wrap, which marks the company’s debut into non-winter wear, is the perfect piece to combat chilly summer nights. Marni Elyse Katz, BostonGlobe.com, "Summer nights, wrapped up," 12 July 2018 Cruise is back in action for the fifth time, and no worse for wear, in Mission: Impossible — Rogue Nation. Aja Hoggatt, EW.com, "Critics are loving Mission: Impossible -- Fallout," 12 July 2018 Their harmony, both on stage and off, is the thread that runs through the entire museum exhibit, an expansive display of LBT stage wear, couture and artifacts. Nancy Kruh, PEOPLE.com, "Little Big Town Exhibit Showcases Career Highs, Lows — and a One-of-a-Kind Gift from Taylor Swift," 29 June 2018 The doll was a little worse for wear, with dirt smudges on its face and checks. Andrew Theen, OregonLive.com, "That baby you saw on I-205? It was a child's doll," 24 May 2018 A dozen East Windsor High School seniors will compete for the title of Mr. East Windsor 2018 in swimsuit, formal wear, talent and interview segments. Courant Community, "Community News For The Enfield Edition," 21 May 2018 The 20-member Kingdom Gospel choir, which performed at the wedding, inspired much positive social media feedback for singers’ eclectic formal wear, including one member’s pink fringed jacket. Tony Bravo, San Francisco Chronicle, "Meghan Markle weds Prince Harry in modest yet modern Givenchy gown," 19 May 2018

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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Statistics for wear

Last Updated

4 Nov 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for wear

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

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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 \
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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Comments on wear

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


to express warning or disapproval

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