\ 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2 : to become trite, unconvincing, or out-of-date an argument that quickly wore thin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 attack bore similarities with an incident from April, when two young men — at least one of whom was wearing a Jewish kippah — were attacked in broad daylight in central Berlin. Rick Noack, Washington Post, "A Baltimore professor was the victim of an anti-Semitic attack and then German police punched him," 13 July 2018 All involved were wearing seat belts and air bags deployed in the Toyota, police said. Amanda Marrazzo, chicagotribune.com, "Teen, man dead after semi crash in McHenry County," 13 July 2018 The responding officers were wearing body cameras that were activated during the incident, police officials said. Jacob Taylor /, NBC News, "Viral video of handcuffed black teens in Minneapolis sparks police investigation," 12 July 2018 Inter have announced that Lautaro Martinez will wear the number ten shirt in his first season with the Serie A side. SI.com, "Inter Reveal Which Number New Signing Lautaro Martinez Will Wear Ahead of Next Season," 12 July 2018 The baby, estimated to be between 4 and 6 months old, was found unharmed on a front porch and was wearing a gray Mickey Mouse T-shirt, police said. Ashley Luthern, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Milwaukee police arrest person of interest in case of baby boy found abandoned in car seat," 12 July 2018 Officers, who were wearing body cameras, detained the teens, with two in the car and two sitting on the ground initially. Ryan W. Miller, USA TODAY, "A police officer pointed his gun at 4 unarmed, black teens. Now police are investigating," 12 July 2018 The man, who is in his late 30s, wasn’t wearing a helmet. Samantha Ketterer, Houston Chronicle, "Man critically injured in motorcycle crash near Baytown," 12 July 2018 Both Winslow II and the attorney are African-American, both are tall and fit-looking, and both were wearing suits and seated next to each other. Teri Figueroa, sandiegouniontribune.com, "Accusers fail to identify Winslow II in court," 11 July 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

That was followed by a casual wear competition highlighting each contestants’ interests and gave them an opportunity to describe one aspect of Ramona’s history. Julie Gallant, Ramona Sentinel, "Megan Kelly crowned 2018 Miss Ramona," 10 July 2018 Lebow Clothes was a division of After Six formal wear and made men’s suits and blazers at a Baltimore plant on East Oliver Street near Green Mount Cemetery. Jacques Kelly, baltimoresun.com, "Harry P. Lebow, real estate executive and clothing designer, dies," 7 July 2018 The plastic is cracked by wear and age, but Mims keeps it to honor Maurice Parker Mims, a man Garnett Mims calls his champion and someone who was known to many Detroiters as the Greektown Artist. Allie Gross, Detroit Free Press, "Death on foot: Detroit leads large cities in pedestrian deaths," 2 July 2018 The brand will no doubt want to use Federer and his reputation as one of the world's most stylish men to sell much more than polos and shorts for customers to play tennis in—especially in the new world of style where activewear is everyday wear. Cam Wolf, GQ, "Roger Federer Officially Leaves Nike for Uniqlo," 2 July 2018 The book store will be open for purchase of spirit wear and other items. Sue Kiesewetter, Cincinnati.com, "5,000 expected at Fairfield Schools annual arts fair," 3 May 2018 Sassy Fox, 150 Chenoweth Lane, has a room devoted to Lily Pulitzer, a second floor of formal wear and about 100 Derby hats ranging in price from $50-$120. Kirby Adams, The Courier-Journal, "How to dress for Kentucky Derby 2018: Look like Millionaires Row on an infield budget," 30 Mar. 2018 The correspondent used sweatcoins to buy some of these items (gift cards for Barbell athletic wear and Charmz bracelets, a week of online classes from OfCourse), and then put them up for sale on Craigslist. Naomi Fry, The New Yorker, "Do You Take Sweatcoin?," 24 Mar. 2018 Other firms plan to use muography to track the wear of oil-industry pipelines and search for minerals in old mines. Elizabeth Gibney, Scientific American, "Muons: The Little-known Particles Helping to Probe the Impenetrable," 28 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

9 Sep 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).


occurring twice a year or every two years

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