- (UK) IPA(key): /wɛə/
- (US) enPR: wĕr, IPA(key): /wɛr/
Audio (US) (file)
- Rhymes: -ɛə(r)
- Homophones: ware, where (in accents with the wine-whine merger)
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”).
- (now chiefly UK dialectal, transitive) To guard; watch; keep watch, especially from entry or invasion.
- (now chiefly UK dialectal, transitive) To defend; protect.
- (now chiefly UK dialectal, transitive) To ward off; prevent from approaching or entering; drive off; repel.
- to wear the wolf from the sheep
- (now chiefly UK dialectal, transitive) To conduct or guide with care or caution, as into a fold or place of safety.
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-.
- To carry or have equipped on or about one's body, as an item of clothing, equipment, decoration, etc.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- (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.
- 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.
- (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.
- The family […] wore out in the earlier part of the century.
- 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.
- (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.
- (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.
- (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.
- Thus wore out night.
- Away, I say; time wears.
- (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.
- wear away
- wear down
- wear off
- wear out, worn out, worn-out
- wear thin
- wear something on one's sleeve, wear one's heart on one's sleeve
- wear rose-colored glasses
- The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables, removing any numbers. Numbers do not necessarily match those in definitions. See instructions at Help:How to check translations.
- (uncountable) (in combination) clothing
- footwear; outdoor wear; maternity wear
- (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.
- 1895, H. G. Wells, The Time Machine Chapter X
- (uncountable) fashion
- Motley's the only wear.
- For usage examples of this term, see the citations page.