AskDefine | Define wear

The Collaborative Dictionary

Wear \Wear\, v. i.
To endure or suffer use; to last under employment; to bear the consequences of use, as waste, consumption, or attrition; as, a coat wears well or ill; -- hence, sometimes applied to character, qualifications, etc.; as, a man wears well as an acquaintance. [1913 Webster]
To be wasted, consumed, or diminished, by being used; to suffer injury, loss, or extinction by use or time; to decay, or be spent, gradually. "Thus wore out night." --Milton. [1913 Webster] Away, I say; time wears. --Shak. [1913 Webster] Thou wilt surely wear away, both thou and this people that is with thee. --Ex. xviii.
[1913 Webster] His stock of money began to wear very low. --Sir W. Scott. [1913 Webster] The family . . . wore out in the earlier part of the century. --Beaconsfield. [1913 Webster] To wear off, to pass away by degrees; as, the follies of youth wear off with age. To wear on, to pass on; as, time wears on. --G. Eliot. To wear weary, to become weary, as by wear, long occupation, tedious employment, etc. [1913 Webster]
Wear \Wear\, n.
The act of wearing, or the state of being worn; consumption by use; diminution by friction; as, the wear of a garment. [1913 Webster]
The thing worn; style of dress; the fashion. [1913 Webster] Motley 's the only wear. --Shak. [1913 Webster]
The result of wearing or use; consumption, diminution, or impairment due to use, friction, or the like; as, the wear of this coat has been good. [Webster 1913 Suppl.] Wear and tear, the loss by wearing, as of machinery in use; the loss or injury to which anything is subjected by use, accident, etc. [1913 Webster]
Weir \Weir\ (w[=e]r), Wear \Wear\,n. [OE. wer, AS. wer; akin to G. wehr, AS. werian to defend, protect, hinder, G. wehren, Goth. warjan; and perhaps to E. wary; or cf. Skr. v[.r] to check, hinder. [root]142. Cf. Garret.]
A dam in a river to stop and raise the water, for the purpose of conducting it to a mill, forming a fish pond, or the like. [1913 Webster]
A fence of stakes, brushwood, or the like, set in a stream, tideway, or inlet of the sea, for taking fish. [1913 Webster]
A long notch with a horizontal edge, as in the top of a vertical plate or plank, through which water flows, -- used in measuring the quantity of flowing water. [1913 Webster]
Wear \Wear\ (w[=e]r; 277), n. Same as Weir. [1913 Webster]
Wear \Wear\ (w[^a]r), v. t. [Cf. Veer.] (Naut.) To cause to go about, as a vessel, by putting the helm up, instead of alee as in tacking, so that the vessel's bow is turned away from, and her stern is presented to, the wind, and, as she turns still farther, her sails fill on the other side; to veer. [1913 Webster]
Wear \Wear\, v. t. [imp. Wore (w[=o]r); p. p. Worn (w[=o]rn); p. pr. & vb. n. Wearing. Before the 15th century wear was a weak verb, the imp. & p. p. being Weared.] [OE. weren, werien, AS. werian to carry, to wear, as arms or clothes; akin to OHG. werien, weren, to clothe, Goth. wasjan, L. vestis clothing, vestire to clothe, Gr. "enny`nai, Skr. vas. Cf. Vest.] [1913 Webster]
To carry or bear upon the person; to bear upon one's self, as an article of clothing, decoration, warfare, bondage, etc.; to have appendant to one's body; to have on; as, to wear a coat; to wear a shackle. [1913 Webster] What compass will you wear your farthingale? --Shak. [1913 Webster] On her white breast a sparkling cross she wore, Which Jews might kiss, and infidels adore. --Pope. [1913 Webster]
To have or exhibit an appearance of, as an aspect or manner; to bear; as, she wears a smile on her countenance. "He wears the rose of youth upon him." --Shak. [1913 Webster] His innocent gestures wear A meaning half divine. --Keble. [1913 Webster]
To use up by carrying or having upon one's self; hence, to consume by use; to waste; to use up; as, to wear clothes rapidly. [1913 Webster]
To impair, waste, or diminish, by continual attrition, scraping, percussion, on the like; to consume gradually; to cause to lower or disappear; to spend. [1913 Webster] That wicked wight his days doth wear. --Spenser. [1913 Webster] The waters wear the stones. --Job xiv.
[1913 Webster]
To cause or make by friction or wasting; as, to wear a channel; to wear a hole. [1913 Webster]
To form or shape by, or as by, attrition. [1913 Webster] Trials wear us into a liking of what, possibly, in the first essay, displeased us. --Locke. [1913 Webster] To wear away, to consume; to impair, diminish, or destroy, by gradual attrition or decay. To wear off, to diminish or remove by attrition or slow decay; as, to wear off the nap of cloth. To wear on or To wear upon, to wear. [Obs.] "[I] weared upon my gay scarlet gites [gowns.]" --Chaucer. To wear out. (a) To consume, or render useless, by attrition or decay; as, to wear out a coat or a book. (b) To consume tediously. "To wear out miserable days." --Milton. (c) To harass; to tire. "[He] shall wear out the saints of the Most High." --Dan vii.
(d) To waste the strength of; as, an old man worn out in military service. To wear the breeches. See under Breeches. [Colloq.] [1913 Webster]

Word Net



1 impairment resulting from long use; "the tires showed uneven wear"
2 a covering designed to be worn on a person's body [syn: clothing, article of clothing, vesture]
3 the act of having on your person as a covering or adornment; "she bought it for everyday wear" [syn: wearing]


1 be dressed in; "She was wearing yellow that day" [syn: have on]
2 have on one's person; "He wore a red ribbon"; "bear a scar" [syn: bear]
3 have in one's aspect; wear an expression of one's attitude or personality; "He always wears a smile"
4 deteriorate through use or stress; "The constant friction wore out the cloth" [syn: wear off, wear out, wear thin]
5 have or show an appearance of; "wear one's hair in a certain way"
6 last and be usable; "This dress wore well for almost ten years" [syn: hold out, endure]
7 go to pieces; "The lawn mower finally broke"; "The gears wore out"; "The old chair finally fell apart completely" [syn: break, wear out, bust, fall apart]
8 exhaust or tire through overuse or great strain or stress; "We wore ourselves out on this hike" [syn: tire, wear upon, tire out, weary, jade, wear out, outwear, wear down, fag out, fag, fatigue] [ant: refresh]
9 put clothing on one's body; "What should I wear today?"; "He put on his best suit for the wedding"; "The princess donned a long blue dress"; "The queen assumed the stately robes"; "He got into his jeans" [syn: put on, get into, don, assume] [also: worn, wore]

Moby Thesaurus

abate, abide, ablate, ablation, about ship, abrade, abrase, abrasion, abrasive, act a part, affect, apparel, array, assume, atomization, attire, attrition, back and fill, bark, bate, be dressed in, be eaten away, be infinitely repetitive, be tedious, bear away, bear off, bear to starboard, beat, beat about, bedizenment, bide, box off, break, breakup, bring about, bring round, buffing, burn out, burnishing, cant, cant round, carry on, cast, cast about, chafe, chafing, change course, change the heading, clothes, clothing, come about, consume, consume away, continue, continue to be, corrode, corrosion, costume, counterfeit, crumble, crumbling, debilitate, decay, decline, decomposition, decrease, defeat time, defy time, degradation, deliquesce, deplete, depreciate, detrition, die away, dilapidation, diminish, disintegration, disjunction, disorganization, dissipate, dissolution, dive, do a bit, do in, do up, double a point, drag on, drain, dramatize, drapery, dress, dressing, dribble away, drop, drop off, duds, dwell, dwindle, ebb, endure, enervate, erase, erasure, erode, erosion, exhaust, exist, extend, fag, fag out, fake, fall, fall away, fall off, fashion, fatigue, fatigues, feathers, feign, fetch about, fig, file, filing, flag, fray, frazzle, fret, fretting, gall, galling, garb, garments, gear, glut, gnaw, gnaw away, go about, go on, go on forever, grate, graze, grazing, grind, grinding, guise, gybe, habiliment, habit, harass, have on, heave round, histrionize, hold, hold on, hold out, incoherence, investiture, investment, irk, jade, jibe, jibe all standing, keep, keep on, knock out, knock up, languish, last, last long, last out, lessen, let up, limation, linen, live, live on, live through, maintain, make out like, melt away, miss stays, overact, overfatigue, overstrain, overtire, overweary, pall, perdure, perennate, persist, play, play a part, play a scene, playact, plummet, plunge, ply, polishing, poop, poop out, pretend, prevail, prostrate, put about, put back, put on, put on airs, rags, raiment, rasp, rasping, ravages of time, raze, remain, resolution, robes, round a point, rub away, rub off, rub out, rubbing away, run, run low, run on, sag, sandblasting, sanding, satiate, scour, scouring, scrape, scraping, scratch, scratching, scrub, scrubbing, scuff, sham, sheer, shift, shining, shrink, simulate, sink, skin, slew, smoothing, sport, sportswear, squander, stand, stay, stay on, style, subside, subsist, survive, sustain, swerve, swing round, swing the stern, tack, tail off, tarry, tatter, threads, throw about, tide over, tire, tire out, tire to death, togs, toilette, trim, turn, turn back, use, use up, veer, vestment, vesture, wane, waste, waste away, weaken, wear and tear, wear away, wear down, wear off, wear on, wear out, wear ragged, wear ship, wear well, wearing apparel, wearing away, weary, weather, weathering, wilt, wind, yaw





  • (UK): /wɛə/, /wE@/
  • (US): , /wɛr/, /wEr/
Rhymes with: -ɛə(r)



  1. To suffer due to use or activity.
    The tiles were wearing thin due to years of children's feet.
  2. To have equipped on one's person, like an item of clothing.
    He is wearing some nice pants today.
    He was wearing his lunch after tripping and falling into the buffet.
  3. To exhaust or expend.
    Our physical advantage allowed us to wear the other team out and win.
  4. To bring a sailing ship onto the other tack by bringing the wind around the stern (as opposed to tacking when the wind is brought around the bow). (See gybe, or jibe)


to suffer due to use
to have on (clothes)
to exhaust physically
to bring to other tack


  1. (in combination) Clothing (such as footwear).
  2. Damage to the appearance and/or strength of an item caused by use over time.



Related terms

In materials science, wear is the erosion of material from a solid surface by the action of another solid. The study of the processes of wear is part of the discipline of tribology. There are five principal wear processes:
  1. Adhesive wear
  2. Abrasive wear
  3. Surface fatigue
  4. Fretting wear
  5. Erosion wear
The definition of wear does not include loss of dimension from plastic deformation, although wear has occurred despite no material removal. This definition also fails to include impact wear, where there is no sliding motion, cavitation, where the counterbody is a fluid, and corrosion, where the damage is due to chemical rather than mechanical action.
Wear can also be defined as a process in which interaction of the surfaces or bounding faces of a solid with its working environment results in dimensional loss of the solid, with or without loss of material. Aspects of the working environment which affect wear include loads (such as unidirectional sliding, reciprocating, rolling, and impact loads), speed, temperature, type of counterbody (solid, liquid, or gas), and type of contact (single phase or multiphase, in which the phases involved can be liquid plus solid particles plus gas bubbles).
In the results of standard wear tests (such as those formulated by the respective subcommittees of ASTM Committee G-2), the loss of material during wear is expressed in terms of volume. The volume loss gives a truer picture than weight loss, particularly when comparing the wear resistance properties of materials with large differences in density. For example, a weight loss of 14 g in a sample of tungsten carbide + cobalt (density = 14000 kg/m³) and a weight loss of 2.7 g in a similar sample of aluminium alloy (density = 2700 kg/m³) both result in the same level of wear (1 cm³) when expressed as a volume loss.
The working life of an engineering component is over when dimensional losses exceed the specified tolerance limits. Wear, along with other aging processes such as fatigue, creep, and fracture toughness, causes progressive degradation of materials with time, leading to failure of material at an advanced age. Under normal operating parameters, the property changes during usage normally occur in three different stages as follows:-
  • Primary or early stage or run-in period, where rate of change can be high.
  • Secondary or mid-age process where a steady rate of aging process is maintained. Most of the useful or working life of the component is comprised in this stage.
  • Tertiary or old-age stage, where a high rate of aging leads to rapid failure.
With increasing severity of environmental conditions such as higher temperatures, strain rates, stress and sliding velocities, the secondary stage is shortened and the primary stage tends to merge with the tertiary stage, thus drastically reducing the working life. Surface engineering processes are used to minimize wear and extend working life of material.

Adhesive wear

Adhesive wear is also known as scoring, galling, or seizing. It occurs when two solid surfaces slide over one another under pressure. Surface projections, or asperities, are plastically deformed and eventually welded together by the high local pressure. As sliding continues, these bonds are broken, producing cavities on the surface, projections on the second surface, and frequently tiny, abrasive particles, all of which contribute to future wear of surfaces.

Abrasive wear

When material is removed by contact with hard particles, abrasive wear occurs.. The particles either may be present at the surface of a second material (Two-body wear) or may exist as loose particles between two surfaces (Three-body wear). Abrasive wear can be measured as loss of mass by the Taber Abrasion Test according to ISO 9352 or ASTM D 1044.

Surface fatigue

Surface fatigue is a process by which the surface of a material is weakened by cyclic loading, which is one type of general material fatigue.

Fretting wear

Fretting wear is the repeated cyclical rubbing between two surfaces, which is known as fretting, over a period of time which will remove material from one or both surfaces in contact. It occurs typically in a bearings, although most bearings have their surfaces hardened to resist the problem. Another problem occurs when cracks in either surface are created, known as fretting fatigue. It is the more serious of the two phenomena because it can lead to catastrophic failure of the bearing. An associated problem occurs when the small particles removed by wear are oxidised in air. The oxides are usually harder than the underlying metal, so wear accelerates as the harder particles abrade the metal surfaces further. Fretting corrosion acts in the same way, especially when water is present. Unprotected bearings on large structures like bridges can suffer serious degradation in behaviour, especially when salt is used during winter to deice the highways carried by the bridges. The problem of fretting corrosion was involved in the Silver Bridge tragedy and the Mianus River Bridge accident.

See also


wear in Bosnian: Trošenje
wear in German: Verschleiß
wear in French: Usure des surfaces
wear in Ido: Uzuro
wear in Dutch: Slijtage
wear in Japanese: 摩耗
wear in Turkish: Aşınma
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