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.

  • noun 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.
  • noun Stuff or material for articles of wear; material for garments, etc.
  • noun An article or articles worn, or intended or fit to be worn; style of dress, adornment, or the like; hence, fashion; vogue.
  • noun 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.
  • 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.


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 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