From Middle English weren, werien, from Old English werian (“to clothe, cover over; put on, wear, use; stock (land)”), from Proto-West Germanic *waʀjan, from Proto-Germanic *wazjaną (“to clothe”), from Proto-Indo-European *wes- (“to dress, put on (clothes)”).
Cognate to Sanskrit वस्ते (váste), Ancient Greek ἕννυμι (hénnumi, “put on”), Latin vestis (“garment”) (English vest), Albanian vesh (“dress up, wear”), Tocharian B wäs-, Old Armenian զգենում (zgenum), Welsh gwisgo, Hittite 𒉿𒀸- (waš-).
- (Received Pronunciation) IPA(key): /wɛə/
- (General American) enPR: wĕr, IPA(key): /wɛə(ɹ)/, [wɛɹ], [wɛɚ]
Audio (US) (file)
- Rhymes: -ɛə(ɹ)
- Homophones: ware, where (in accents with the wine-whine merger), were (some dialects)
- 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.
- 1906, Stanley J[ohn] Weyman, chapter I, in Chippinge Borough, New York, N.Y.: McClure, Phillips & Co., OCLC 580270828, page 01:
- It was April 22, 1831, and a young man was walking down Whitehall in the direction of Parliament Street. He wore shepherd's plaid trousers and the swallow-tail coat of the day, with a figured muslin cravat wound about his wide-spread collar.
- To have or carry on one's person habitually, consistently; or, to maintain in a particular fashion or manner.
- He wears eyeglasses. She wears her hair in braids.
- 1918, W. B. Maxwell, chapter 10, in 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.
- 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, copulative) 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.
- 1880, Benjamin Disraeli, Endymion
- The family that had raised it wore out in the earlier part of this 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.
- c. 1597, William Shakespeare, “The Merry VViues of VVindsor”, in Mr. William Shakespeares Comedies, Histories, & Tragedies: Published According to the True Originall Copies (First Folio), London: […] Isaac Iaggard, and Ed[ward] Blount, published 1623, OCLC 606515358, [Act V, scene i]:
- Away, I say; time wears.
- 1671, John Milton, “Book the Second”, in Paradise Regain’d. A Poem. In IV Books. To which is Added, Samson Agonistes, London: […] J. M[acock] for John Starkey […], OCLC 228732398:
- Thus wore out night.
- (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.
- Synonym: gybe
- 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 Wiktionary:Entry layout § 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
- c. 1598–1600, William Shakespeare, “As You Like It”, in Mr. William Shakespeares Comedies, Histories, & Tragedies: Published According to the True Originall Copies (First Folio), London: […] Isaac Iaggard, and Ed[ward] Blount, published 1623, OCLC 606515358, [Act II, scene vii]:
- Motley's the only wear.
- For quotations using this term, see Citations:wear.
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-West Germanic *warjan, from Proto-Germanic *warjaną (“to defend, protect, ward off”), from Proto-Indo-European *wer- (“to close, cover, protect, save, defend”).
- (now chiefly Britain dialectal, transitive) To guard; watch; keep watch, especially from entry or invasion.
- (now chiefly Britain dialectal, transitive) To defend; protect.
- (now chiefly Britain dialectal, transitive) To ward off; prevent from approaching or entering; drive off; repel.
- to wear the wolf from the sheep
- (now chiefly Britain dialectal, transitive) To conduct or guide with care or caution, as into a fold or place of safety.
wear (plural wears)
- Dated form of .