\ 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 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2 : to become trite, unconvincing, or out-of-date an argument that quickly wore thin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


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

Amy Lachelle Drake’s Toyota 4-Runner left the roadway on Cullman County 1545 and hit a tree on Sunday around 1:30 p.m. Drake was not wearing a seatbelt and was pronounced dead at the scene, according to police. Lily Jackson | Ljackson@al.com, al, "Cullman woman dead after single-vehicle wreck," 15 Sep. 2019 Farmer was wearing a red hat, prescription glasses, blue jeans and black shoes. David Debolt, The Mercury News, "Belmont man, 84, missing for 19 days," 15 Sep. 2019 Neither were wearing a seatbelt at the time of the crash. Erin B. Logan, baltimoresun.com, "Second person dies in Thursday crash that started as police chase in Laurel and ended blocking I-95 for hours," 13 Sep. 2019 The first-round draft pick is wearing a splint to protect his finger. Aaron Wilson, Houston Chronicle, "Texans' Keke Coutee practices fully again, Tytus Howard out of cast," 12 Sep. 2019 French, who is fifty, and keeps his head shaved and his beard thick, was wearing a blue blazer, and khakis, and had an angry, troubled look. Benjamin Wallace-wells, The New Yorker, "David French, Sohrab Ahmari, and the Battle for the Future of Conservatism," 12 Sep. 2019 Braun was also wearing a Yelich jersey under his own for the second straight game. Jr Radcliffe, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Ryan Braun pays tribute to injured Christian Yelich with home run celebration," 12 Sep. 2019 Theobald was not wearing a helmet at the time of the crash and was pronounced dead at the scene. Justin L. Mack, Indianapolis Star, "Fortville man killed in Hamilton County motorcycle crash," 9 Sep. 2019 The Lions took bad penalties and made some costly mistakes, but that should get ironed out as the season wears on. Carlos Monarrez, Detroit Free Press, "What happened on the Detroit Lions’ timeout call in the 4th quarter?," 9 Sep. 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Still, V Starr Interiors, the interior-design company that Venus started in 2002, and EleVen, the active-wear label that followed in 2007, were never for Richard, or Serena, or anyone else. Elizabeth Weil, New York Times, "Did Venus Williams Ever Get Her Due?," 22 Aug. 2019 Dao-Yi Chow, of Public School, wants to bring some ready-to-wear smarts back into the performance wear market with his new project: rehabbing Sergio Tacchini. Steff Yotka, Vogue, "Dao-Yi Chow Has a New Take on Tennis Apparel," 20 Aug. 2019 Kittenish Look Liner Jill Stuart jillstuart-beauty.com $2.00 SHOP IT The perfect cateye lasts all day with Jill Stuart’s long-wear formula, allowing you to rock the most intense wing without the dreaded midday smudging. Hana Hong, Marie Claire, "How to Apply Liquid Eyeliner Like a Pro: A Fast and Easy Guide," 26 July 2019 The average Wisconsin wedding registry asks for $995 worth of items, making Wisconsin the state with the sixth most expensive average registry, according to a study from The Black Tux, a formal-wear business. Jordyn Noennig, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "More gifts, please! Wisconsin wedding registries are among the priciest in the country," 25 July 2019 Everything that isn’t wrapped in leather is carbon fiber, aluminum or ballistic nylon on high-wear areas like seat bolsters. Mark Phelan, Detroit Free Press, "Chevy breaks the mold with faster, more sophisticated 2020 Corvette Stingray," 18 July 2019 Luckily, a lot of the fabrics that are currently in style, like linen and light cotton, are perfectly acceptable as office-wear. Brittany Loggins, NBC News, "The best summer office dresses under $100," 5 July 2019 The Wall Street Journal reported earlier that the athletic-wear company delivered the sneakers to retailers, but asked stores to return them to Nike after the company received a complaint from former NFL star Colin Kaepernick. Rob Mclean, CNN, "Nike cancels shoe featuring early version of American flag," 1 July 2019 Another first: Each contestant made a 10-second statement about her social impact initiative during the evening-wear segments. Mary Colurso | Mcolurso@al.com, al.com, "Miss Alabama 2019: Tiara Pennington, Miss University of Alabama, takes the crown," 8 June 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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Statistics for wear

Last Updated

7 Oct 2019

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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 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

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with wear

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for 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

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).


tired or exhausted

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