verb (past wore /wɔː/; past participle worn /wɔːn/)
- 1 [with object] Have (something) on one’s body as clothing, decoration, or protection: he was wearing a dark suit firemen wearing breathing apparatusMore example sentences
- He had no protective clothing and wore only overalls.
- Both robbers wore balaclavas, dark clothing and hooded jackets.
- The offenders were described only as wearing balaclavas and dark clothing.
- 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
have (on one's face), present, show, display, exhibit, bear; give, put on, assume, form one's face into, make one's face into, compose one's face into, rearrange one's face into, ease one's face into, smooth one's face into, draw one's face into, twist one's face into, tug one's face into, pull one's face into, pinch one's face into, crease one's face into, crack one's face into, screw (up) one's face into
- 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 and complement 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 Nautical (Of a ship) fly (a flag): any British registered boat may wear the red ensignMore 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 and adverbial or complement] Damage, erode, or destroy by friction or use: the track has been worn down in part to bare rock shells worn smooth by the seaMore 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, with adverbial or complement] Undergo damage, erosion, or destruction as a result of friction or use: mountains are wearing down with each passing second the road surface had worn smoothMore 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, with adverbial] Withstand continued use or life in a specified way: a carpet that 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.
- 4 [with object, usually with negative] British • informal Tolerate; accept: the environmental health people wouldn’t wear itMore example sentences
allow, permit, authorize, sanction, condone, indulge, agree to, accede to, approve of; endure, put up with, bear, take, stand, support, submit to, undergo; accept, swallow, tolerate, brook, countenance, admit of; Scottish tholeBritish • informal be doing with• archaic suffer
- 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.
noun[mass noun] Back to top
- 1 [with modifier or in combination] 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.
- 1.1The 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.
- 2Damage or deterioration sustained from continuous use: you need to make a deduction for wear and tear on all your belongingsMore example sentences
- 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.
- 2.1The capacity for withstanding continuous use without damage or deterioration: the suit has about another 10 years of normal wear left in itMore example sentences
- 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.
wear oneself to a shadow
- see shadow.
- 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 trousers
- see trousers.
wear someone/thing down
- Overcome someone or something by persistence: initially, she protested, but he wore down her resistanceMore example sentences
- The father said, ‘No, no, no,’ at first and refused, but finally he was worn down by the boy's persistence.
- This was a peace process by sloth, a two-year long round of talks about talks about talks, which finally wore the parties down to the point where they would have put their names to just about anything the Prime Minister stuck in front of them.
- Sometimes we argue and he wears my patience down and my only refuge will be an insult aimed at his mother.
- Lose effectiveness or intensity: the effects of the drug were wearing offMore example sentences
fade, dwindle, diminish, lessen, decrease, wane, ebb, subside, weaken, lose intensity, lose strength, peter out, melt away, fizzle out, pall, taper off, tail off, grow faint, grow dim, evaporate, disappear, vanish, die, come to nothing, come to a halt, come to an end, run out; lose its effectiveness/effect
- 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.
- (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.
wear something out (also wear out)
- Use 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.
wear someone/thing out
- Exhaust or tire someone or something: an hour of this wandering wore him outMore 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'.
verb (past and past participle wore /wɔː/)[with object] Sailing
- Bring (a ship) about by turning its head away from the wind: Shannon gives the order to wear ship Compare with tack1 ( sense 3 of the verb).
early 17th century: of unknown origin.