\ 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2 : to become trite, unconvincing, or out-of-date an argument that quickly wore thin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 In the Pennsylvania case, for example, the district attorney said the officer violated a policy requiring officers to wear their Tasers on the side opposite their firearms. BostonGlobe.com, "How could the police have mistaken a gun for a Taser?," 13 Apr. 2021 In fact, that’s where this collaboration started: as outfits for Maluma to wear on stage during his 2020 concert series. Demetrius Simms, Robb Report, "Balmain and Maluma Team Up for a Vibrant, Limited-Edition Menswear Collaboration," 13 Apr. 2021 Some agencies began instructing officers to wear Tasers on the opposite side of their dominant hand, turned backward to be easily taken out. Washington Post, "Before Daunte Wright’s death, a gun-Taser mixup was blamed for another police killing: Fruitvale Station," 12 Apr. 2021 Ansel jacket is elegant enough to wear even on sunny days. New York Times, "The T List: Five Things We Recommend This Week," 8 Apr. 2021 Remember to wear the crown on your head and stay agile. Ali Hill, Forbes, "Entrepreneurs: Choose To Challenge Yourself As A Leader," 6 Apr. 2021 My mother-in-law has bought some masks to wear on buses and trams. Mallory Pickett, The New Yorker, "Sweden’s Pandemic Experiment," 6 Apr. 2021 No more wondering what to wear on Zoom or putting on makeup to look your best on Skype. Larry Dvoskin, Rolling Stone, "How Creatives Can Explore and Contribute to Clubhouse," 1 Apr. 2021 Wild Tribute's fun and quirky designs (and cozy materials) are the perfect way to wear your support for national parks on your sleeve. Kendall Cornish, Travel + Leisure, "11 Products to Shop If You Love U.S. National Parks," 31 Mar. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Diagonal streets constructed in medieval times, centuries-old castles situated on Italian hills, and simple architectural pieces that survived wars, pestilence, and human wear sparked a longing to imagine who had been there. Steve Straessle, Arkansas Online, "Passageways," 17 Apr. 2021 The producers have made a stand against both Zoom and casual wear. Jake Coyle, Star Tribune, "The pandemic has upended the Oscars. Good, producers say," 16 Apr. 2021 The producers have made a stand against both Zoom and casual wear. BostonGlobe.com, "The pandemic has upended the Oscars. Good, producers say," 16 Apr. 2021 The district currently requires all students and staff wear masks indoors. Sabine Poux, Anchorage Daily News, "Kenai Peninsula Borough mayor feuds with school district over mask policy," 14 Apr. 2021 Her first memories of the practice don’t include top buns, athleisure wear or even exercise. NBC News, "White women co-opted pandemic yoga. Now, South Asian instructors are taking it back.," 13 Apr. 2021 Critics say officials moved too slowly to impose measures to curb transmission and that the Conservative government failed national health service staff who were forced onto the front lines without adequate protective wear or access to testing. Washington Post, "Snow no barrier to Brits heading for newly reopened pubs after almost 100 days of covid closure," 12 Apr. 2021 Popular categories included denim, essentials, beauty and holiday wear, despite consumers still not being any clearer on what date international travel may be commencing. Kate Hardcastle, Forbes, "Spend Spend Spend - Primark Is Sating England’s Pent Up Demand For Real Life Shopping," 12 Apr. 2021 Our take: This is a stylish, feminine fitness tracker for those who like their wearable tech to be fashion-forward enough for all day, everyday wear. Mallory Pitts, chicagotribune.com, "Which fitness tracker should you get?," 7 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

18 Apr 2021

Cite this Entry

“Wear.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/wear. Accessed 20 Apr. 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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