verb (past wore /wôr/; past participle worn /wôrn/)
- 1 [with object] Have on one’s body or a part of one’s body as clothing, decoration, protection, or for some other purpose: he was wearing a dark suit both ladies wore a bunch of violets
- 1.1Habitually have on one’s body or be dressed in: although she was a widow, she didn’t wear blackMore example sentences
- Aymara men in the Altiplano region wear long cotton trousers and woolen caps with ear flaps.
- And what about the robes that priests wear? They too are long, flowing and can be used to conceal such things.
- Do you wear glasses or contact lenses?
- 1.2Exhibit or present (a particular facial expression or appearance): they wear a frozen smile on their facesMore example sentences
bear, have (on one's face), show, display, exhibit; give, put on, assume
- By the time I reached the girl Ryan was presently dancing with, Mark wore a skeptical expression on his face.
- She looked at Dylan who was wearing a slight unfamiliar facial expression.
- His familiar face appeared on the front page of the Brighton Argus, wearing an expression of glowering discomfort.
- 1.3 [with object or adverbial] Have (one’s hair or beard) at a specified length or arranged in a specified style: the students wore their hair longMore example sentences
- He was neither tall nor short with graying hair and wore a well-trimmed beard.
- His short, blonde hair is worn in a style that reminds you of a gush of water.
- Her honey-blond hair was worn in a shoulder-length bob and she had deep blue eyes.
- 1.4(Of a ship) fly (a flag).More example sentences
- As well as being the senior ensign of the King's ships, the red ensign was also worn by merchant ships.
- The Blue Ensign worn by Government vessels usually has the badge of the department in the fly.
- She still continues to wear the Blue Ensign until her hand-over to the Navy, scheduled for September, and her commissioning is due in October.
- 2 [with object or complement] Damage, erode, or destroy by friction or use: the track has been worn down in part to bare rockMore example sentences
- The stone toe of Saint Jude, patron of impossible causes, was worn smooth by the desperate kisses of the faithful.
- Then he noticed that the rock had been worn smooth, as if lots of people before him had also sat on it.
- They rose through a spiraling passage, surrounded by cool stone that had been worn smooth over the many long years of the school's existence.
- 2.1 [no object or complement] Undergo damage, erosion, or destruction by friction or use: mountains are wearing down with each passing secondMore example sentences
- Continually running an older car not designed to use unleaded petrol will eventually cause the coating to wear away, causing damage to the valves and cylinder heads.
- The road surface has worn away.
- The top layer of our concrete patio has worn away.
- 2.2 [with object] Form (a hole, path, etc.) by constant friction or use: the water was forced up through holes it had wornMore example sentences
- Explaining why a formal dress-code hinders your ability to do your job should be easy enough if you're worn a hole through the knee on a pair of pants.
- What is also happening as a result is that a path is being worn across the grass, which does nothing to enhance the look of the area.
- It turned out that the float had been vibrating against the body of the carburettor and had worn a little hole through it.
- 2.3 [no object] (wear on) Cause weariness or fatigue to: some losses can wear on youMore example sentences
- Impatience and fatigue are wearing on the minds of hurricane victims in Pensacola, Florida.
- Fatigue was wearing on his already exhausted body, bewilderment on his mind.
- In a culture where affluence and leisure are seen as birthrights, war, sacrifice, or even the mental fatigue about worrying over such things wear on us.
- 3 [no object] Withstand continued use or life in a specified way: a carpet-type finish seems to wear wellMore example sentences
- Whether you're planning to do the work yourself or get someone in, remember that gravel requires a firm, consolidated base to look good and wear well.
- There's a no-nonsense look about the dashboard area - the car is clearly designed here to wear well and not date.
- These cars perform well; the slightly dowdy interiors wear well and the seat mechanisms have proved robust.
- 3.1 [with object, usually with negative] British • informal Tolerate; accept: the environmental health people wouldn’t wear itMore example sentences
- When it comes to paying too much money for an event the Government just won't wear it.
- For a start you'd have the fossil fuel interests opposing nuclear power generation, but more importantly the Australian public just wouldn't wear it I think.
- To replace bills with coins would save the Treasury at least $500m (£263m) a year. Yet Americans just won't wear it.
- 4 [no object] (wear on) (Of a period of time) pass, especially slowly or tediously: as the afternoon wore on, he began to look unhappyMore example sentences
- The day passed slowly for him and as it wore on he began to slowly give up hope.
- As the afternoon wore on, the sun moved around so that it was warming the side of the building on which we were sitting.
- And then as the afternoon wore on, they'd move out and sit on the verandah and look out at the garden beyond.
nounBack to top
- 1The wearing of something or the state of being worn as clothing: some new tops for wear in the eveningMore example sentences
- She had left her hotel earlier that morning to complete a wardrobe of gowns suitable for wear in England.
- It's a well made children's line and is cut on the big size for plenty of wear.
- The gray physical-fitness uniform is no longer authorized for wear for physical training.
- 2 [with modifier] Clothing suitable for a particular purpose or of a particular type: evening wearMore example sentences
- The two brands provide a series of swimwear, gym wear, underwear and accessories which are young, sporty and sexy.
- The programme began shortly after 8pm and featured the delegates in traditional East Indian wear and evening gowns.
- Today, these outfits serve as stage costumes rather than street wear.
- 3Damage or deterioration sustained from continuous use: you need to make a deduction for wear and tear on all your belongingsMore example sentences
damage, friction, erosion, attrition, abrasion; weathering
- Then he handed out our textbooks; I now had a math book and a history book, and the history book sustained the more wear and tear of the two.
- As a landlord you can refuse to return their deposit if they have caused damage beyond normal wear and tear.
- Most guarantees expressly exclude faults which are the result of misuse by the consumer, accidental damage or normal wear and tear.
- 3.1The capacity for withstanding continuous use without damage: old things were relegated to the bedrooms because there was plenty of wear left in themMore example sentences
use, wearing, service, utility, value• informal mileage
- Wildflower Farm also sells Eco Lawn, a blend of seven native grasses that grow well in arid conditions and are designed to withstand wear.
- Routine safety labeling must have adhesives strong enough to withstand wear, jarring and abuse.
wear one's heart on one's sleeve
- see heart.
- Be gradually used up or become less convincing or acceptable: his patience was wearing thin the joke had started to wear thinMore example sentences
- The truth is, however, that you can only watch a movie so many times before the appeal wears thin.
- Anyway, he was funny and fun; but then I saw him a few more times and the gag wore thin.
- Perhaps the excitement of her fantasies wore thin, and she became obsessed with the idea of confessing all, hence acquiring a thrill and notoriety of a different sort.
wear the pants
- see pants.
wear someone/something down
- Overcome or exhaust someone or something by persistence.More example sentences
- Some teachers, on the other hand, wait until their exit interview to voice concerns about conditions that have worn them down and driven them from the profession.
- It already had been a long day, and the stress had worn me down.
- This last 9 months in the wilderness of soul-destroying job applications and mind-numbing temp jobs had worn me down.
- Lose effectiveness or intensity.More example sentences
- For many bloggers, the novelty soon wears off and their persistence fades.
- They also said the effects would wear off and disappear altogether once users stopped taking oestrogen doses.
- Unfortunately, the hallucinatory effects of the food wore off all too soon.
wear something out (or wear out)
- 1Use or be used until no longer in good condition or working order: wearing out the stair carpet the type was used again and again until it wore outMore example sentences
- Find a set you like better than any other, and use them until you wear them out.
- We take many of these things - I'd add watches, jackets, and a few other types of clothes to the mix - entirely for granted until the old one wears out.
- Other than that, cheap stuff, sale items, and a lot of hand-me-downs went into each backpack, which was also kept until it either wore out or became too youthful for its owner.
- 2 (wear someone/something out) Exhaust or tire someone or something: an hour of this wandering wore out Lampard’s patienceMore example sentences
- The night flight, combined with the two-hour time difference, wore us out.
- So that whole driving trip wore me out although poor Mike did all the driving!
- He reportedly dumped her because her bedroom antics wore him out.
- More example sentences
- During long flights, most contact lens wearers feel miserable.
- The pieces of jewellery serve as good luck charms for their wearers.
- One of the earliest recorded wearers of a wristwatch was Queen Elizabeth I in 1571.
Old English werian, of Germanic origin, from an Indo-European root shared by Latin vestis 'clothing'.