from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • transitive v. To carry or have on the person as covering, adornment, or protection: wearing a jacket; must wear a seat belt.
  • transitive v. To carry or have habitually on the person, especially as an aid: wears glasses.
  • transitive v. To display in one's appearance: always wears a smile.
  • transitive v. To bear, carry, or maintain in a particular manner: wears her hair long.
  • transitive v. To fly or display (colors). Used of a ship, jockey, or knight.
  • transitive v. To damage, diminish, erode, or consume by long or hard use, attrition, or exposure. Often used with away, down, or off: rocks worn away by the sea; shoes worn down at the heels.
  • transitive v. To produce by constant use, attrition, or exposure: eventually wore hollows in the stone steps.
  • transitive v. To bring to a specified condition by long use or attrition: wore the clothes to rags; pebbles worn smooth.
  • transitive v. To fatigue, weary, or exhaust: Your incessant criticism has worn my patience.
  • transitive v. Nautical To make (a sailing ship) come about with the wind aft.
  • intransitive v. To last under continual or hard use: a fabric that will wear.
  • intransitive v. To last through the passage of time: a friendship that wears well.
  • intransitive v. To break down or diminish through use or attrition: The rear tires began to wear.
  • intransitive v. To pass gradually or tediously: The hours wore on.
  • intransitive v. Nautical To come about with stern to windward.
  • n. The act of wearing or the state of being worn; use: The coat has had heavy wear.
  • n. Clothing, especially of a particular kind or for a particular use. Often used in combination: rainwear; footwear.
  • n. Gradual impairment or diminution resulting from use or attrition.
  • n. The ability to withstand impairment from use or attrition: The engine has plenty of wear left.
  • wear down To break down or exhaust by relentless pressure or resistance.
  • wear off To diminish gradually in effect: The drug wore off.
  • wear out To make or become unusable through long or heavy use.
  • wear out To use up or consume gradually.
  • wear out To exhaust; tire.
  • wear out Chiefly Southern U.S. To punish by spanking.
  • idiom pants Informal To exercise controlling authority in a household.
  • idiom wear thin To be weakened or eroded gradually: Her patience is wearing thin.
  • idiom wear thin To become less convincing, acceptable, or popular, as through repeated use: excuses that are wearing thin.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • v. To carry or have equipped on or about one's body, as an item of clothing, equipment, decoration, etc.
  • v. To have or carry on one's person habitually, consistently; or, to maintain in a particular fashion or manner.
  • v. To bear or display in one's aspect or appearance.
  • v. To overcome one's reluctance and endure a (previously specified) situation.
  • v. To eat away at, erode, diminish, or consume gradually; to cause a gradual deterioration in; to produce (some change) through attrition, exposure, or constant use.
  • v. To undergo gradual deterioration; become impaired; be reduced or consumed gradually due to any continued process, activity, or use.
  • v. To exhaust, fatigue, expend, or weary.
  • v. To last or remain durable under hard use or over time; to retain usefulness, value, or desirable qualities under any continued strain or long period of time; sometimes said of a person, regarding the quality of being easy or difficult to tolerate.
  • v. (in the phrase "wearing on (someone)") To cause annoyance, irritation, fatigue, or weariness near the point of an exhaustion of patience.
  • v. To pass slowly, gradually or tediously.
  • v. To bring (a sailing vessel) onto the other tack by bringing the wind around the stern (as opposed to tacking when the wind is brought around the bow); to come round on another tack by turning away from the wind.
  • n. (in combination) clothing (such as footwear)
  • n. damage to the appearance and/or strength of an item caused by use over time
  • n. fashion
  • v. To guard; watch; keep watch, especially from entry or invasion.
  • v. To defend; protect.
  • v. To ward off; prevent from approaching or entering; drive off; repel.
  • v. To conduct or guide with care or caution, as into a fold or place of safety.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. Same as weir.
  • n. The act of wearing, or the state of being worn; consumption by use; diminution by friction.
  • n. The thing worn; style of dress; the fashion.
  • n. The result of wearing or use; consumption, diminution, or impairment due to use, friction, or the like.
  • intransitive v. To endure or suffer use; to last under employment; to bear the consequences of use, as waste, consumption, or attrition; ; -- hence, sometimes applied to character, qualifications, etc..
  • intransitive v. To be wasted, consumed, or diminished, by being used; to suffer injury, loss, or extinction by use or time; to decay, or be spent, gradually.
  • transitive v. To cause to go about, as a vessel, by putting the helm up, instead of alee as in tacking, so that the vessel's bow is turned away from, and her stern is presented to, the wind, and, as she turns still farther, her sails fill on the other side; to veer.
  • transitive v. To carry or bear upon the person; to bear upon one's self, as an article of clothing, decoration, warfare, bondage, etc.; to have appendant to one's body; to have on
  • transitive v. To have or exhibit an appearance of, as an aspect or manner; to bear.
  • transitive v. To use up by carrying or having upon one's self; hence, to consume by use; to waste; to use up.
  • transitive v. To impair, waste, or diminish, by continual attrition, scraping, percussion, on the like; to consume gradually; to cause to lower or disappear; to spend.
  • transitive v. To cause or make by friction or wasting.
  • transitive v. To form or shape by, or as by, attrition.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • To carry or bear on the body as a covering or an appendage for warmth, decency, ornament, or other use; put or have on: as, to wear fine clothes; to wear diamonds.
  • To use, affect, or be in the habit of using in one's costume or adornment: as, to wear green.
  • To consume by frequent or habitual use; deteriorate or waste by wear; use up: as, boots well worn.
  • To waste or impair by rubbing or attrition; lessen or diminish by continuous action upon; consume; waste; destroy by degrees.
  • Hence To exhaust; weary; fatigue.
  • To cause or produce by constant percussion or attrition; form by continual rubbing: as, a constant current of water will wear a channel in stone.
  • To efface; obliterate.
  • To have or exhibit an appearance of; bear; carry; exhibit; show.
  • To disaccustom to one thing and accustom to another; bring gradually; lead: often with in or into before the new thing or state.
  • Nautical, to bring (a vessel) on another tack by turning her with her head away from the wind; veer. Also ware.
  • To lay out; expend; spend; waste; squander. Compare ware.
  • To waste or destroy by degrees; consume tediously: as, to wear out life in idle projects.
  • Hence— To obliterate; efface.
  • To harass; tire completely; fatigue; exhaust; waste or consume the strength of.
  • To be in fashion; be in common or recognized use.
  • To become fit or suitable by use; become accustomed.
  • To last or hold out in course of use or the lapse of time: generally with well or ill.
  • To undergo gradual impairment or diminution through use, attrition, or lapse of time; waste or diminish gradually; become obliterated: often with away, off, or out.
  • To pass or be spent; become gradually consumed or exhausted.
  • To move or advance slowly; make gradual progress: as, the winter wore on.
  • To become; grow.
  • Nautical, to come round with the head away from the wind: said of a ship.
  • To guard; watch, as a gate, etc., so that it is not entered; defend.
  • To ward off; prevent from approaching or entering: as, to wear the wolf from the sheep.
  • To conduct or guide with care or caution, as into a fold or place of safety.
  • n. The act of wearing or using, or the state of being worn or used, as garments, ornaments, etc.; use: as, a garment not for every-day wear.
  • n. Stuff or material for articles of wear; material for garments, etc.
  • n. An article or articles worn, or intended or fit to be worn; style of dress, adornment, or the like; hence, fashion; vogue.
  • n. Use; usage received in course of being worn or used; the impairment or diminution in bulk, value, efficiency, etc., which results from use, friction, time, or the like.
  • n. See weir.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • v. go to pieces
  • v. deteriorate through use or stress
  • v. have in one's aspect; wear an expression of one's attitude or personality
  • n. the act of having on your person as a covering or adornment
  • n. a covering designed to be worn on a person's body
  • v. have or show an appearance of
  • v. have on one's person
  • v. last and be usable
  • v. be dressed in
  • v. exhaust or get tired through overuse or great strain or stress
  • v. put clothing on one's body
  • n. impairment resulting from long use


from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

Middle English weren, from Old English werian.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Middle English weren, werien, from Old English werian ("to guard, keep, defend; ward off, hinder, prevent, forbid; restrain; occupy, inhabit; dam up; discharge obligations on (land)"), from Proto-Germanic *warjanan (“to defend, protect, ward off”), from Proto-Indo-European *wer- (“to close, cover, protect, save, defend”). Cognate with Scots wer, weir ("to defend, protect"), Dutch weren ("to aver, ward off"), German wehren ("to fight"), Swedish värja ("to defend, ward off"), Icelandic verja ("to defend").

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Middle English weren, werien, from Old English werian ("to clothe, cover over; put on, wear, use; stock (land)"), from Proto-Germanic *wazjanan (“to clothe”), from Proto-Indo-European *wes- (“to dress, put on (clothes)”). Cognate to Sanskrit वस्ते (vaste), Ancient Greek ἕννυμι ("put on"), Latin vestis ("garment"), Albanian vesh ("dress up, wear"), Tocharian B wäs-, Old Armenian զգենում (zgenum), Welsh gwisgo, Hittite waš-.


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  • To wear the pot, to cool it. --Provincial term from the north of England.

    May 17, 2011