\ 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2 : to become trite, unconvincing, or out-of-date an argument that quickly wore thin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 They're made with Staple Supima Cotton, which won't pill or wear thin and will only get softer with every wash. CNN Underscored, "The best Black Friday deals to shop on Amazon," 29 Nov. 2019 John Garcia of the LAPD Robbery-Homicide Division says of the necklace, which detectives were able to prove Ngor was wearing on the night of the murder. Kc Baker, PEOPLE.com, "Was Slaying of Oscar-Winning The Killing Fields Actor a Random Act or a Political Revenge Hit?," 29 Nov. 2019 The gunman was described as a black male with an afro who stood about 6 feet tall and wore a blue bandana over his face. Nyssa Kruse, Arkansas Online, "Police: 2 Little Rock restaurants robbed at gunpoint on Thanksgiving," 29 Nov. 2019 Look for the hand-me-down toys, for example, and Elliott’s son wearing similar pajamas to those from the original movie. Madeleine Carlisle, Time, "E.T. and Elliott Reuniting For the Holidays is the Gift You Didn't Know You Needed," 28 Nov. 2019 The driver was also cited for drug abuse, open container, speeding, weaving and not wearing a seat belt. John Benson, cleveland, "Driver with five suspended license convictions makes its six and seven in less than 24 hours: North Royalton Police Blotter," 27 Nov. 2019 The only character development occurs when Turner-Smith shaves her stereotypical dreadlocks for an androgynous henna crew-cut and wears a form-fitting tiger-striped halter and snakeskin boots, and Kaluuya dons a ’90s jogging suit. Armond White, National Review, "Queen & Slim, a Meme Movie for Black Lives Matter Fans," 27 Nov. 2019 Things like reading or writing too much, wearing certain clothes, speaking a particular way, having been to private school, living in the countryside. Zadie Smith, The New Yorker, "Darryl Pinckney’s Intimate Study of Black History," 26 Nov. 2019 After searching his home, police found clothing that matched clothing the person was wearing in the videos. oregonlive, "Portland man charged with arson in massive August fire," 26 Nov. 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Men's athletic wear brand Hill City—Gap Inc.'s counterpart to the already successful Athleta for women—is the latest online brand to move into physical retail. Phil Wahba, Fortune, "Gap Inc.’s Hill City Set to Pop Up Offline into Physical Retail," 1 Oct. 2019 The scrubs are made from a healthcare apparel brand called Barco Uniforms, which collaborated with ABC to produce the professional wear for the TV show back in 2006. Shanon Maglente, Good Housekeeping, "The 'Grey's Anatomy' Scrubs Are Less Than $30 on Amazon and Look Just Like Meredith's," 26 Sep. 2019 It is also stated that a full tree canopy reduces the wear on asphalt and roofs and prolongs their usefulness, delaying the need for costly replacement. cleveland, "South Euclid receives county grant to improve city’s tree canopy," 21 Sep. 2019 The scrappy professional women’s wrestling troupe has moved to Las Vegas for a three-month residency at the Fan-Tan Hotel and Casino, and the wear of repeating things is starting to show. Sophie Gilbert, The Atlantic, "GLOW Goes Post-plot," 8 Aug. 2019 Back in 2015, when Lilly Pulitzer first teamed up with Target on a line of clothing, accessories, cosmetics, and home goods, fans of the vibrant resort wear brand stood in line for hours hoping to take home a piece of the preppy collaboration. Caroline Hallemann, Town & Country, "Target Is Bringing Back Its Lilly Pulitzer Collaboration," 2 Aug. 2019 This past Tuesday night, the Vipers opened their MABA playoffs, and the wear showed. Mike Nortrup, baltimoresun.com/maryland/carroll, "Rec Sports Spotlight: Vipers going after MABA under-16 title," 13 July 2019 Corpo Bonita, a Brazilian swimwear and resort wear brand, is also opening a 555-square-foot store at the mall — its first physical location. Caroline Glenn, orlandosentinel.com, "Florida Mall adds stores, including Salt Life and Corpo Bonito," 20 June 2019 Selena also has a partnership with athletic-wear brand, Puma. Jasmine Gomez, Seventeen, "Selena Gomez's Net Worth Will Blow Your Mind," 23 May 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

2 Dec 2019

Cite this Entry

“Wear.” The Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/wears%20on. Accessed 11 December 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

What made you want to look up wear? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


heavy with or as if with moisture

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