—v.t. 1. to carry or have on the body or about the person as a covering, equipment, ornament, or the like: to wear a coat; to wear a saber; to wear a disguise. 2. to have or use on the person habitually: to wear a wig. 3. to bear or have in one's aspect or appearance: to wear a smile; to wear an air of triumph. 4. to cause (garments, linens, etc.) to deteriorate or change by wear: Hard use has worn these gloves. 5. to impair, deteriorate, or consume gradually by use or any continued process: Long illness had worn the bloom from her cheeks. 6. to waste or diminish gradually by rubbing, scraping, washing, etc.: The waves have worn these rocks. 7. to make (a hole, channel, way, etc.) by such action.
8. to bring about or cause a specified condition in (a person or thing) by use, deterioration, or gradual change: to wear clothes to rags; to wear a person to a shadow. 9. to weary; fatigue; exhaust: Toil and care soon wear the spirit. 10. to pass (time) gradually or tediously (usually fol. by away or out): We wore the afternoon away in arguing. 11. Naut.to bring (a vessel) on another tack by turning until the wind is on the stern.
12. Brit. Dial.to gather and herd (sheep or cattle) to a pen or pasture.
—v.i. 1. to undergo gradual impairment, diminution, reduction, etc., from wear, use, attrition, or other causes (often fol. by away, down, out, or off).
2. to retain shape, color, usefulness, value, etc., under wear, use, or any continued strain: a strong material that will wear; colors that wear well. 3. (of time) to pass, esp. slowly or tediously (often fol. by on or away): As the day wore on, we had less and less to talk about. 4. to have the quality of being easy or difficult to tolerate, esp. after a relatively long association: It's hard to get to know him, but he wears well. 5. Naut.(of a vessel) to come round on another tack by turning away from the wind.
6. Obs.to be commonly worn; to be in fashion.
7. wear down, a. to reduce or impair by long wearing: to wear down the heels of one's shoes. b. to weary; tire: His constant talking wears me down. c. to prevail by persistence; overcome: to wear down the opposition. 8. wear off,to diminish slowly or gradually or to diminish in effect; disappear: The drug began to wear off. 9. wear out, a. to make or become unfit or useless through hard or extended use: to wear out clothes. b. to expend, consume, or remove, esp. slowly or gradually.
c. to exhaust, as by continued strain; weary: This endless bickering is wearing me out. 10. wear thin, a. to diminish; weaken: My patience is wearing thin. b. to become less appealing, interesting, tolerable, etc.: childish antics that soon wore thin.
—n. 1. the act of wearing; use, as of a garment: articles for winter wear; I've had a lot of wear out of this coat. 2. the state of being worn, as on the person.
3. clothing or other articles for wearing, esp. when fashionable or appropriate for a particular function (often used in combination): travel wear; sportswear. 4. gradual impairment, wasting, diminution, etc., as from use: The carpet shows wear. 5. the quality of resisting deterioration with use; durability.