\ 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2 : to become trite, unconvincing, or out-of-date an argument that quickly wore thin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 Brown Deer School District Superintendent Monica Kelsey-Brown said in an email that students and staff will continue to wear masks. Alec Johnson, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Wisconsin's mask mandate is over. But if you’re in a Milwaukee area school you still need to wear one.," 3 Apr. 2021 Intermountain’s rules require visitors, patients and staff to wear masks — and those rules will remain in effect after April 10, Stenehjem said. Scott D. Pierce, The Salt Lake Tribune, "More than 40,000 Utahns receive COVID-19 vaccines in a day," 2 Apr. 2021 All Delaware North associates will continue to wear masks and gloves, and signage reminding fans to maintain proper social distancing will be visible in food and beverage areas. Dallas News, "Globe Life Field will feature cashless transactions; Safe-dining protocols for 2021 season," 1 Apr. 2021 The Arizona Supreme Court requires staff and visitors to wear masks in all court buildings. Paulina Pineda, The Arizona Republic, "Which Arizona cities and counties still have mask mandates? Here's what we know," 31 Mar. 2021 At various points in the pandemic, Holcomb has used the disaster emergency order to require Hoosiers to wear masks, close certain types of businesses and limit capacity in order to stop the spread of COVID-19. Kaitlin Lange, The Indianapolis Star, "Gov. Holcomb plans to veto bill limiting his emergency powers," 31 Mar. 2021 Businesses are allowed to operate at 100% capacity, although many still require patrons to wear masks. Jim Vertuno, Star Tribune, "Bored games: Teams find fun ways to fill gaps at tourneys," 31 Mar. 2021 However, the district will continue to require staff and students to wear masks until the board of directors meet to discuss any changes for the remainder of the school year. Arkansas Democrat-gazette, Arkansas Online, "LIST: These Arkansas cities and schools are keeping mask rules in place," 31 Mar. 2021 In February, tourists reportedly assaulted a woman in a wheelchair after they were told to wear masks. Coral Murphy Marcos, USA TODAY, "Puerto Rico imposes $100 mask fines, heightens police efforts as it grapples with aggressive tourists," 31 Mar. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun The latter is rendered in a matte, technical fabric that, according to the website, straddles the line between evening wear and sportswear. Sarah Spellings, Vogue, "Interior Hopes You Feel Something When You Look at Their Clothes," 25 Mar. 2021 Not quite as theatrical as mid-2010’s seapunk, and certainly less preppy than New England nautical-wear, mermaidcore seems to be the slightly more sophisticated version of Sara Paxton in Aquamarine. Eliza Huber, refinery29.com, "Mermaidcore Is Trending. But… What… Is… It?," 25 Mar. 2021 And in particular, three clothing retailers who are leading the charge in bringing a refined street-wear sensibility to the classic island style. Whitney Robinson, Travel + Leisure, "Here’s Where to Find the Best Handmade Crafts on Oahu, From Jewelry to Ukuleles to Panama Hats," 22 Mar. 2021 Brooks Brothers filed for bankruptcy, as did the parent companies of office-wear brands such as Ann Taylor, JoS. A. Bank, and Men’s Wearhouse. Amanda Mull, The Atlantic, "Our Sad Souvenirs of the Pandemic," 12 Mar. 2021 The town of around 24,000 people is home to two of the world’s biggest athletic-wear firms: Adidas and Puma. Adrian Croft, Fortune, "Adidas unveils an ambitious 5-year recovery plan as crosstown rival Puma steals its buzz," 10 Mar. 2021 Noli Yoga has flattering women’s active wear and fitness apparel in fun, bold performance fabrics. oregonlive, "‘Backyarding’ boom: How to work, study, dine and relax better outside," 5 Mar. 2021 The comfortable, long-wear formula can also be used to fill in the lips as an all-over colour. Angela Lei, Forbes, "Lady Gaga Drops New Brow Product For Haus Laboratories And Here Are Our Top 5 Picks From The Line," 4 Mar. 2021 Also shoppers can expect new merchandise including adult clothing, street wear and home products and collectibles. Mike Snider, USA TODAY, "Disney to close at least 60 Disney Stores in US and Canada, as shopping shifts to online," 3 Mar. 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

6 Apr 2021

Cite this Entry

“Wear.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/wear. Accessed 16 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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