\ 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 constructionsyour 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2 : to become trite, unconvincing, or out-of-date an argument that quickly wore thin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
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 The girl was wearing a diaper and weighed just 47 pounds when she was found at a home in Georgetown in September, according to an Associated Press story published this week. Fox News, "Ohio police arrest woman after teacher's tip leads investigators to malnourished child," 16 Nov. 2019 The three suspects were wearing masks and one was armed with a handgun. Cliff Pinckard, cleveland, "Suspects break into Akron home, assault woman, steal computer," 15 Nov. 2019 The Spartans are wearing dark green jerseys with neon numbers and letters against Seton Hall. Chris Solari, Detroit Free Press, "Michigan State basketball to wear 'Smoothie' patch to honor Zachary Winston," 14 Nov. 2019 Event co-hosts Carrie Underwood and Dolly Parton donned cream and gold sheath gowns and Reba McEntire wore a sparkly black gown with fur cuffs. Marcy De Luna, Houston Chronicle, "Country music's biggest stars walk the red carpet at 53rd annual CMA Awards," 14 Nov. 2019 Things aren't quite so crazy these days, Barfield says, as some of the newness has worn off, and the kitchen staff has gotten used to the frantic pace. Bob Carlton | Bcarlton@al.com, al, "Meet the Alabama chef who’s making noise in New Orleans," 14 Nov. 2019 Taylor, wearing a dark suit and wire glasses, his salt-and-pepper hair gently parted, is glancing down at his notes. Eric Lach, The New Yorker, "William Taylor’s Unspinnable Testimony Against Donald Trump," 13 Nov. 2019 For her various appearances this year, Middleton has regularly worn chunky block heels, a sturdy silhouette that’s a more arch-friendly alternative to her beloved pin-thin stilettos. Vogue, "Kate Middleton’s Comfortable Pumps Are the Perfect Work Shoe," 12 Nov. 2019 Luckily, the lightweight formula wears beautifully under makeup and never feels too greasy or heavy. Braelyn Wood, Health.com, "This ‘Magic’ Anti-Aging Eye Cream Will Banish Wrinkles and Dark Circles," 12 Nov. 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun The process of selecting maternity wear is a hassle. Sarah Halzack | Bloomberg, Washington Post, "Pregnant Women Have No Choice But to Wear Ugly Clothes," 6 Nov. 2019 This complexion perfecter from Fenty Beauty—founded by R&B singer Rihanna—is widely praised for its diverse shade range, coverage that layers from light to heavy, and long-lasting wear. Jessica Kasparian, USA TODAY, "20 amazing gifts for beauty, makeup, and skincare lovers," 22 Oct. 2019 On its website, NHTSA explains that vehicles are not recalled for cosmetic problems, rust, excessive oil use or normal wear. NBC News, "How to make sure a used car is safe," 15 Oct. 2019 Angle-of-attack vanes are exposed to the winds and are vulnerable to impact, ice and wear. New York Times, "What Really Brought Down the Boeing 737 Max?," 18 Sep. 2019 Shops include preppy resort wear designers like Bermuda’s own Crown + Anchor, tourist-trap gift shops and art galleries. Kelly Vaughan, courant.com, "Bermuda i n 72 hours: Yes, really," 17 Sep. 2019 Focused on giving its participants courage-building attention and a comfortable environment, the program provides transportation and athletic wear at no cost. Jacqueline Martinez / Harding High School, Twin Cities, "ThreeSixty Journalism: Girls find confidence and empowerment in running 5Ks," 31 Aug. 2019 However, the performance and wear of nine- and 10-free polishes are just as good as their more chemical-y competition. Jenna Rosenstein, Harper's BAZAAR, "Why You Need To Switch To Non-Toxic Nail Polish," 12 Aug. 2019 Chris and Union have a unique perspective on streetwear meets workwear meets designer wear. Marques Harper, latimes.com, "Nordstrom teams up with L.A.'s Union on streetwear-inspired pop-up shop," 8 July 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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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 Nov 2019

Cite this Entry

“Wear.” The Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/wears%20on. Accessed 22 November 2019.

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More Definitions for wear


How to pronounce Wear (audio)

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

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for wear

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with 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

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not agreeing with established beliefs

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