wear

verb
\ ˈwer How to pronounce wear (audio) \
wore\ ˈwȯr How to pronounce wear (audio) \; worn\ ˈwȯrn How to pronounce wear (audio) \; wearing

Essential Meaning of wear

1 : to use or have (something) as clothing : to have (a shirt, pants, etc.) over part of your body He was wearing blue jeans. She wore a red blouse to work. White coats are often worn by doctors.
2 : to use or have (something) on your body I don't wear glasses. He doesn't wear a watch. See More ExamplesAre you wearing perfume? a badge worn by police officers Were you wearing a seat belt?Hide
3 : to grow or arrange (your hair) in a particular way She wears her hair in a ponytail. I used to wear my hair long. He wears [=has] a beard now.

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2 : to become trite, unconvincing, or out-of-date an argument that quickly wore thin

wear

noun

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

Wear

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

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from wear

Verb

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.
See More
Recent Examples on the Web: Verb But the issue continues to divide communities, including in Wisconsin, where school board meetings have turned volatile as members debate whether children should have to wear face coverings. The Washington Post, Arkansas Online, 13 Oct. 2021 The bronze-medal winner was the first Muslim American woman to wear a hijab while competing at the Olympic Games. From Usa Today Network And Wire Reports, USA TODAY, 13 Oct. 2021 But the issue continues to divide communities, including in Wisconsin, where school board meetings have turned volatile as members debate whether children should have to wear face coverings. Gina Harkins, Anchorage Daily News, 13 Oct. 2021 Children up to age 12 are invited to wear their costumes and trick or treat at the trunks of decorated cars. Carol Kovach, cleveland, 13 Oct. 2021 Very few brands have successfully centered a business around easy-to-wear basics quite like the direct-to-consumer label Entireworld. Shelby Ying Hyde, Harper's BAZAAR, 13 Oct. 2021 The most basic needs are physiological, like food to eat, shelter to live and clothes to wear. Lindy Brewster, Forbes, 12 Oct. 2021 But the issue continues to divide communities, including in Wisconsin, where school board meetings have turned volatile as members debate whether children should have to wear face coverings. Washington Post, 12 Oct. 2021 In the residence halls, most students walk around maskless until told to wear one by a resident assistant. WSJ, 12 Oct. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Another point of concern is the wear-and-tear on his productive defensive ends Jermaine Johnson and Keir Thomas, something Norvell hopes to address during his bye week. Matt Murschel, orlandosentinel.com, 11 Oct. 2021 What this automation through digital technology can also provide manufacturers is greater visibility into their production processes, equipment wear-and-tear, and, more importantly, energy usage. Vincent Rutgers, Forbes, 1 Oct. 2021 The set includes two cushioned rocking chairs and a ceramic tile-top side table designed for long wear and durability. Samantha Driscoll, Better Homes & Gardens, 29 Sep. 2021 Zeichner notes that these dry, sandpaper-grainy patches are our body's way of protecting our feet from all of the daily wear-and-tear, and they actually shouldn't be completely removed. Allure, 23 Sep. 2021 The sale will include baby items, kids clothing, toys, games, maternity wear and other items, as well as a bake sale and raffle. cleveland, 12 Sep. 2021 For instance, certain biological wear-and-tear doesn't manifest in a mouse, and a mouse model in Parkinson's R&D may not produce the kinds of biological byproducts linked with the disease. Sy Mukherjee, Fortune, 8 Sep. 2021 Likewise, designer Michael Kors has included ultra-luxe travel wear and imagery into many of his campaigns. Anne Bratskeir, Travel + Leisure, 1 Sep. 2021 But with more than 23% of the city’s residents living in poverty, many of these architectural gems have been showing the wear-and-tear of neglect for decades. Susan Pinker, WSJ, 26 Aug. 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.

See More

First Known Use of wear

Verb

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1

Noun

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for wear

Verb

Middle English weren, from Old English werian; akin to Old Norse verja to clothe, invest, spend, Latin vestis clothing, garment, Greek hennynai to clothe

Keep scrolling for more

Buying Guide

Our team at The Usage has selected the best running shorts for women of 2021.

Learn More About wear

Time Traveler for wear

Time Traveler

The first known use of wear was before the 12th century

See more words from the same century

Dictionary Entries Near wear

weapons of mass destruction

wear

Wear

See More Nearby Entries 

Statistics for wear

Last Updated

15 Oct 2021

Cite this Entry

“Wear.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/wear. Accessed 18 Oct. 2021.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for wear

wear

verb
\ 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.
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

wear

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

More from Merriam-Webster on wear

Nglish: Translation of wear for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of wear for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about wear

WORD OF THE DAY

Test Your Vocabulary

Farm Idioms Quiz

  • cow coming home
  • What does 'poke' refer to in the expression 'pig in a poke'?
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!