n. & v.
n. 1 (often in pl.) a a set of toothed wheels that work together to transmit and control motion from an engine, esp. to the road wheels of a vehicle. b a mechanism for doing this. 2 a particular function or state of adjustment of engaged gears (low gear; second gear). 3 a mechanism of wheels, levers, etc., usu. for a special purpose (winding-gear). 4 a particular apparatus or mechanism, as specified (landing-gear). 5 equipment or tackle for a special purpose. 6 colloq. clothing, esp. when modern or fashionable. 7 goods; household utensils. 8 rigging. 9 a harness for a draught animal.
v. 1 tr. (foll. by to) adjust or adapt to suit a special purpose or need. 2 tr. (often foll. by up) equip with gears. 3 tr. (foll. by up) make ready or prepared. 4 tr. put (machinery) in gear. 5 intr. a be in gear. b (foll. by with) work smoothly with. be geared (or all geared) up (often foll. by for, or to + infin.) colloq. be ready or enthusiastic. first (or bottom) gear the lowest gear in a series. gear down (or up) provide with a low (or high) gear. gear lever (or shift) a lever used to engage or change gear, esp. in a motor vehicle. high (or low) gear a gear such that the driven end of a transmission revolves faster (or slower) than the driving end. in gear with a gear engaged. out of gear 1 with no gear engaged. 2 out of order. top gear the highest gear in a series.
[ ME f. ON gervi f. Gmc ]