Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • intransitive verb To carry or have on one's person as covering, adornment, or protection.
  • intransitive verb To carry or have habitually on one's person, especially as an aid.
  • intransitive verb To display in one's appearance.
  • intransitive verb To bear, carry, or maintain in a particular manner.
  • intransitive verb To fly or display (colors). Used of a ship, jockey, or knight.
  • intransitive verb To damage, diminish, erode, or consume by long or hard use, attrition, or exposure. Often used with away, down, or off.
  • intransitive verb To produce by constant use, attrition, or exposure.
  • intransitive verb To bring to a specified condition by long use or attrition.
  • intransitive verb To fatigue, weary, or exhaust.
  • intransitive verb Nautical To make (a sailing ship) come about with the wind aft.
  • intransitive verb To last under continual or hard use.
  • intransitive verb To last through the passage of time.
  • intransitive verb To break down or diminish through use or attrition.
  • intransitive verb To pass gradually or tediously.
  • intransitive verb Nautical To come about with stern to windward.
  • noun The act of wearing or the state of being worn; use.
  • noun Clothing, especially of a particular kind or for a particular use. Often used in combination.
  • noun Damage resulting from use or age.
  • noun The ability to withstand impairment from use or attrition.
  • idiom (pants/trousers) To exercise controlling authority in a household.
  • idiom (wear thin) To be weakened or eroded gradually.
  • idiom (wear thin) To become less convincing, acceptable, or popular, as through repeated use.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • 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.

Etymologies

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

[Middle English weren, from Old English werian; see wes- in Indo-European roots.]

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-.

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").

Examples

Comments

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

    May 17, 2011