Definition of first gear in English:

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first gear


1The lowest in a set of gears on a vehicle, used when traveling very slowly.
Example sentences
  • But attempt a steep hill and you will be forced to drop down through the six-speed manual gearbox to first gear far quicker than you might expect.
  • If not, go slowly in first gear with the engine revving, as this helps to prevent stalling.
  • He shifted to the first gear and the jeep rolled off the side and onto the freeway.
1.1Used in reference to a failure to make progress: in a scrappy first half, neither team seemed to get out of first gear
More example sentences
  • In a scrappy first half neither team seemed to get out of first gear.
  • Hardly representative of his 12 months most of which were spent injured or persevering in first gear.
  • In their second match, Navy capitalised on Air Force's slow change out of first gear with an early goal.

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: first gear

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