wear

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See also: -wear and Wear

English[edit]

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Pronunciation[edit]

Etymology 1[edit]

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 *warjaną (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).

Alternative forms[edit]

Verb[edit]

wear (third-person singular simple present wears, present participle wearing, simple past weared or wore, past participle weared or worn)

  1. (now chiefly UK dialectal, transitive) To guard; watch; keep watch, especially from entry or invasion.
  2. (now chiefly UK dialectal, transitive) To defend; protect.
  3. (now chiefly UK dialectal, transitive) To ward off; prevent from approaching or entering; drive off; repel.
    to wear the wolf from the sheep
  4. (now chiefly UK dialectal, transitive) To conduct or guide with care or caution, as into a fold or place of safety.

Etymology 2[edit]

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

Verb[edit]

wear (third-person singular simple present wears, present participle wearing, simple past wore, past participle worn)

  1. To carry or have equipped on or about one's body, as an item of clothing, equipment, decoration, etc.
    • 1963, Margery Allingham, chapter 5, The China Governess[1]:
      ‘It's rather like a beautiful Inverness cloak one has inherited. Much too good to hide away, so one wears it instead of an overcoat and pretends it's an amusing new fashion.’
    He's wearing some nice pants today.
    She wore her medals with pride.
    Please wear your seatbelt.
    Can you wear makeup and sunscreen at the same time?
    He was wearing his lunch after tripping and falling into the buffet.
  2. To have or carry on one's person habitually, consistently; or, to maintain in a particular fashion or manner.
    • 1918, W. B. Maxwell, chapter 10, The Mirror and the Lamp:
      It was a joy to snatch some brief respite, and find himself in the rectory drawing–room. Listening here was as pleasant as talking; just to watch was pleasant. The young priests who lived here wore cassocks and birettas; their faces were fine and mild, yet really strong, like the rector's face; and in their intercourse with him and his wife they seemed to be brothers.
    He wears eyeglasses.
    She wears her hair in braids.
  3. To bear or display in one's aspect or appearance.
    She wore a smile all day.
    He walked out of the courtroom wearing an air of satisfaction.
  4. (colloquial, with "it") To overcome one's reluctance and endure a (previously specified) situation.
    I know you don't like working with him, but you'll just have to wear it.
  5. 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.
    You're going to wear a hole in the bottom of those shoes.
    The water has slowly worn a channel into these rocks.
    Long illness had worn the bloom from her cheeks.
    Exile had worn the man to a shadow.
  6. (intransitive) To undergo gradual deterioration; become impaired; be reduced or consumed gradually due to any continued process, activity, or use.
    The tiles were wearing thin due to years of children's feet.
    • Sir Walter Scott
      His stock of money began to wear very low.
    • Beaconsfield
      The family [] wore out in the earlier part of the century.
  7. To exhaust, fatigue, expend, or weary.
    His neverending criticism has finally worn my patience.
    Toil and care soon wear the spirit.
    Our physical advantage allowed us to wear the other team out and win.
  8. (intransitive) 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.
    Don't worry, this fabric will wear. These pants will last you for years.
    This color wears so well. I must have washed this sweater a thousand times.
    I have to say, our friendship has worn pretty well.
    It's hard to get to know him, but he wears well.
  9. (intransitive, colloquial) (in the phrase "wearing on (someone)") To cause annoyance, irritation, fatigue, or weariness near the point of an exhaustion of patience.
    Her high pitched voice is really wearing on me lately.
  10. (intransitive, of time) To pass slowly, gradually or tediously.
    wear on, wear away.
    As the years wore on, we seemed to have less and less in common.
    • Milton
      Thus wore out night.
    • Shakespeare
      Away, I say; time wears.
  11. (nautical) 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. Also written "ware". Past: weared, or wore/worn.
Derived terms[edit]
Translations[edit]
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See also[edit]

Noun[edit]

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wear (uncountable)

  1. (uncountable) (in combination) clothing
    footwear; outdoor wear; maternity wear
  2. (uncountable) damage to the appearance and/or strength of an item caused by use over time
    • 1895, H. G. Wells, The Time Machine Chapter X
      Now, I still think that for this box of matches to have escaped the wear of time for immemorial years was a strange, and for me, a most fortunate thing.
  3. (uncountable) fashion
    • Shakespeare
      Motley's the only wear.
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Anagrams[edit]