v. & n.
v. (past wore; past part. worn) 1 tr. have on one's person as clothing or an ornament etc. (is wearing shorts; wears earrings). 2 tr. be dressed habitually in (wears green). 3 tr. exhibit or present (a facial expression or appearance) (wore a frown; the day wore a different aspect). 4 tr. Brit. colloq. (usu. with neg.) tolerate, accept (they won't wear that excuse). 5 (often foll. by away) a tr. injure the surface of, or partly obliterate or alter, by rubbing, stress, or use. b intr. undergo such injury or change. 6 tr. & intr. (foll. by off, away) rub or be rubbed off. 7 tr. make (a hole etc.) by constant rubbing or dripping etc. 8 tr. & intr. (often foll. by out) exhaust, tire or be tired. 9 tr. (foll. by down) overcome by persistence. 10 intr. a remain for a specified time in working order or a presentable state; last long. b (foll. by well, badly, etc.) endure continued use or life. 11 a intr. (of time) pass, esp. tediously. b tr. pass (time) gradually away. 12 tr. (of a ship) fly (a flag).
n. 1 the act of wearing or the state of being worn (suitable for informal wear). 2 things worn; fashionable or suitable clothing (sportswear; footwear). 3 (in full wear and tear) damage sustained from continuous use. 4 the capacity for resisting wear and tear (still a great deal of wear left in it). in wear being regularly worn. wear one's heart on one's sleeve see HEART. wear off lose effectiveness or intensity. wear out 1 use or be used until no longer usable. 2 tire or be tired out. wear thin (of patience, excuses, etc.) begin to fail. wear the trousers see TROUSERS. wear (or wear one's years) well colloq. remain young-looking. wearable adj. wearability n. wearer n. wearingly adv.
[ OE werian f. Gmc ]