Meaning of WEAR in English

I. wear 1 S1 W1 /weə $ wer/ BrE AmE verb ( past tense wore /wɔː $ wɔːr/, past participle worn /wɔːn $ wɔːrn/)

[ Word Family: noun : ↑ wear , ↑ underwear , ↑ wearer ; adjective : ↑ wearing , ↑ worn ; verb : ↑ wear ]

[ Language: Old English ; Origin: werian ]

1 . ON YOUR BODY [transitive] to have something such as clothes, shoes, or jewellery on your body:

Susanna was wearing a black silk dress.

He wore glasses for reading.

wear a seat belt (=have it around yourself)

wear black/white/red etc

Usually I wear black, grey, or brown.

wear something to a party/a dance/an interview etc

I’m wearing a scarlet dress to the party.


In everyday English, people often say that someone has something on rather than is wearing something:

She had on a black silk dress.

2 . HAIR [transitive] to have your hair or ↑ beard in a particular style or shape:

She wore her hair loose.

3 . DAMAGE [intransitive and transitive] to become thinner or weaker after continuous use, or to make something do this:

The cushions are starting to wear a little.

His jeans have worn thin at the knees.

You’ve worn a hole in your sock.

4 . wear well

a) to remain in good condition after a period of time:

The tyres on the car seem to be wearing well.

b) if someone is wearing well, they look younger than they really are:

He must have been around his mid-forties at least, but he’d worn well.

5 . EXPRESSION [transitive] to have a particular expression on your face

wear a smile/frown/grin etc

His face wore a welcoming smile.

6 . something is wearing thin

a) if something is wearing thin, you are bored with it because it is not interesting any more, or has become annoying:

The film begins well but the joke wears thin after about ten minutes.

b) if your patience is wearing thin, you have very little left, because of a delay or problem

7 . wear the trousers British English , wear the pants American English informal to be the person in a family who makes the decisions

8 . wear your heart on your sleeve informal to show your true feelings openly

—wearable adjective

• • •


■ to be wearing clothes

▪ wear to have a particular piece of clothing or a particular style of clothing on your body:

All visitors must wear a protective helmet.


She always wears black.


Can you tell me what the man was wearing?

▪ have something on to be wearing a particular piece of clothing, jewellery etc. Have something on is more informal than wear :

I had my new blue top on.


He had on a red tie and a grey jacket.


The boy had nothing on!

▪ be dressed in something especially written used especially in written descriptions when describing the clothes that someone is wearing:

Alistair was dressed in his best suit and tie.

wear away phrasal verb

to gradually become thinner or smoother, or to make something become like this, because of rubbing or touching:

The leather is starting to wear away at the seams.

wear something ↔ away

Most of the grass had already been worn away by the spectators.

wear down phrasal verb

1 . to gradually become flatter or smoother, or to make something become like this, because of rubbing or use:

My shoes have worn down at the heel.

wear something ↔ down

Its teeth were worn down.

2 . wear somebody ↔ down to gradually make someone physically weaker or less determined:

It was clear he was being worn down by the rumours over his future.

wear off phrasal verb

1 . if pain or the effect of something wears off, it gradually stops:

The effects of the anaesthetic were starting to wear off.

2 . the novelty wears off used to say that you stop feeling interested or excited about something because it is no longer new:

It was funny for a while but the novelty soon wore off.

wear on phrasal verb

if time wears on, it passes very slowly, especially when you are waiting for something to happen:

I was feeling more tired as the night wore on.

wear out phrasal verb

1 . to become damaged and useless, or to make something like this, by using it a lot or for a long time:

My boots are beginning to wear out.

wear something ↔ out

He travels so much he actually wears out suitcases.

2 . wear somebody out to make someone feel extremely tired SYN exhaust :

All this shopping has worn us out.

wear yourself out

Illness and death came suddenly; over the years she had simply worn herself out.

3 . wear out your welcome to stay with someone longer than they want you to

⇨ ↑ worn out

II. wear 2 BrE AmE noun [uncountable]

[ Word Family: noun : ↑ wear , ↑ underwear , ↑ wearer ; adjective : ↑ wearing , ↑ worn ; verb : ↑ wear ]

1 . the clothes worn for a particular occasion or activity, or by a particular group of people

evening/casual/leisure etc wear

a new range of casual wear

bridal wear

the children’s wear department

⇨ ↑ footwear , ↑ menswear

2 . damage caused by continuous use over a long period:

Replace your trainers when they start to show signs of wear.

Check the equipment for wear and tear.

3 . the amount of use an object, piece of clothing etc has had, or the use you can expect to get from it:

The dress stood up to the wear small children give their clothes.

You’ll get years of wear out of that coat.

⇨ the worse for wear at ↑ worse 1 (7)

• • •


■ adjectives

▪ evening wear formal (=clothes worn to formal events in the evening)

The band were dressed in evening wear.

▪ casual wear

The company makes stylish casual wear for men and women.

▪ leisure wear

This is leisure wear for active people.

▪ formal wear

Actresses were dressed in everything from formal wear to miniskirts.

▪ bridal wear

a bridal wear shop

▪ maternity wear (=for pregnant women)

The shop sells comfortable and fashionable maternity wear for every occasion.

▪ children’s/men’s/women’s wear

the children’s wear section of the store

▪ designer wear

I can’t afford designer wear.

• • •


▪ clothes noun [plural] things you wear to cover your body or keep you warm. Clothes is always plural:

I like your clothes!


Don’t throw your dirty clothes on the floor!


a clothes shop

▪ clothing noun [uncountable] used when talking in general about a type of clothes, or about making or selling clothes. Also used in the phrase a piece/item/article of clothing (=one of the things that someone wears) :

You’ll need to take some warm clothing.


It is important to wear protective clothing at all times.


a clothing manufacturer


a clothing retailer


Police found a piece of clothing in the bushes.


I took a change of clothing with me.

▪ garment noun [countable] formal one thing that you wear. Also used when talking about buying and selling clothes:

a long velvet garment


the garment industry


garment workers


garment factories

▪ dress noun [uncountable] a particular style of clothes. Don’t use dress on its own:

Casual dress is not appropriate for an interview.


men in evening dress

▪ wear noun [uncountable] used about types of clothes sold in a shop, in the following phrases. Don’t use wear on its own:

children’s wear


sports wear


casual wear

▪ gear noun [uncountable] /ɡɪə $ ɡɪr/ informal clothes for a particular sport or activity:

She was wearing her running gear.


Have you got all your gear?

▪ wardrobe noun [singular] all the clothes that you own, or all the clothes that you wear at a particular time of year:

Her wardrobe consisted mainly of smart clothes for work.


I will need a new summer weardrobe.


You could win a complete new wardrobe!

Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English.      Longman - Словарь современного английского языка.