American English

Definition of gear noun from the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary



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    in vehicle
  1. 1[countable, usually plural] machinery in a vehicle that turns engine power (or power on a bicycle) into movement forward or backward Careless use of the clutch may damage the gears. The car pulled up with a screech of brakes and a grinding of gears.
  2. 2[uncountable, countable] a particular position of the gears in a vehicle that gives a particular range of speed and power first/second, etc. gear reverse gear low/high gear to shift gear When parking on a hill, leave the car in gear. What gear are you in? He drove wildly, crashing through the gears like a maniac. see also high gear, top gear Topic CollocationsDrivinghaving a car have/own a car ride a motorcycle/moped/scooter drive/use/prefer an automatic/a manual/a stick shift have/get your car fixed/repaired/looked at buy/sell a used car take/pass/fail a driver's test/road test/knowledge test get/obtain/have/lose/carry a/your driver's license/learner's permitdriving put on/fasten/buckle/wear/undo your seat belt put/turn/leave the key in the ignition start the car/engine change/shift gears shift/put the car into gear/neutral/drive/park press/put your foot on the brake pedal/clutch/accelerator release the clutch/the emergency brake/the parking brake drive/park/reverse the car signal that you are turning left/right take/miss the turn apply/hit/slam on the brake(s) beep/honk your hornproblems and accidents a car skids/crashes (into something)/collides (with something) swerve to avoid an oncoming car/a pedestrian crash/lose control of the car have/be in/be killed in/survive a (car) crash/a (car) wreck/an accident/a hit-and-run be run over/hit by a car/bus/truck dent/hit the hood/trunk/door/side panel/bumper/fender break/crack/shatter the windshield blow/puncture a tire get/have a flat tire inflate/change/replace/check a tiretraffic and driving regulations be caught in/get stuck in/sit in a traffic jam cause congestion/traffic jams/gridlock/backups experience/face lengthy delays beat/avoid the traffic/the rush hour exceed/observe/drive the speed limit be caught by a speed camera stop somebody for/pull somebody over for speeding (informal) run a red light/the lights be arrested for/charged with drunk driving/driving under the influence (DUI)/driving while intoxicated (DWI) be banned from driving have your license suspended/taken away/ (informal) pulled
  3. equipment/clothes
  4. 3[uncountable] the equipment or clothing needed for a particular activity climbing/fishing/sports, etc. gear see also headgear, riot gear Thesaurusequipmentmaterial gear kit apparatusThese are all words for the things that you need for a particular purpose or the things that are needed for a particular purpose or activity:camping equipment a piece of laboratory/medical equipmentmaterial things that are needed for a particular activity:household cleaning materials teaching materialequipment or material?Equipment is usually solid things, especially large ones. Materials may be liquids, powders, or books, CDs, etc. containing information, as well as small solid items.gear the equipment or clothes needed for a particular activity:Camping gear can be expensive.kit a set of tools or equipment that you use for a particular purpose:a first-aid kit a sewing kitapparatus (formal) the tools or other pieces of equipment that are needed for a particular activity or task:breathing apparatus for firefighters laboratory apparatus Apparatus is used especially for scientific, medical, or technical purposes.Patterns electrical/electronic equipment/gear/apparatus sports equipment/gear camping equipment/gear a piece of equipment/apparatus
  5. 4[uncountable] (informal) clothes wearing the latest gear Thesaurusclothesclothing garment dress wear gearThese are all words for the things that you wear, such as shirts, jackets, dresses, and pants.clothes [pl.] the things that you wear, such as shirts, jackets, dresses, and pants:Please pick your clothes up off the [U] (somewhat formal) clothes, especially a particular type of clothes:warm clothingclothes or clothing?Clothing is more formal than clothes and is used especially to mean “a particular type of clothes.” There is no singular form of clothes or clothing:a piece/an item/an article of clothing is used to talk about one thing that you wear, such as a dress or shirt.garment (formal) a piece of clothing:He was wearing a strange shapeless garment. Garment should only be used in formal or literary contexts; in everyday contexts use a piece of clothing.dress [U] clothes, especially when worn in a particular style or for a particular occasion:Casual dress is allowed on Fridays.wear [U] (usually in compounds) clothes for a particular purpose or occasion, especially when it is being sold in stores:the children's wear departmentgear [U] clothes for a particular purpose:the most advanced cold-weather gear (= warm boots, coats, gloves, etc.)Patterns casual clothes/clothing/dress/wear evening/formal clothes/dress/wear designer/sports clothes/clothing/garments/wear/gear children's/men's/ladies' clothes/clothing/garments/wear to have on/be in/wear …clothes/garments/gear
  6. possessions
  7. 5[uncountable] (informal) the things that a person owns I left all my gear at Dave's house.
  8. machinery
  9. 6[uncountable] (often in compounds) a piece of machinery used for a particular purpose lifting/towing/winding, etc. gear see also landing gear
  10. speed/effort
  11. 7[uncountable, countable] used to talk about the speed or effort involved in doing something The wedding preparations moved into high gear as the day approached. Coming out of the final turn, the runner stepped up a gear to overtake the rest of the pack.
  12. Idioms
      change/shift gears
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    1. 1to put a motor vehicle or a bicycle into a different gear
    2. 2to move from one activity or interest to another After giving an intense performance it was difficult for the actress to change gears and become herself again.
    get into gear, get something into gear
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    to start working, or to start something working, in an efficient way
    in/into high gear
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    in a state of intense activity Her career is back in high gear.
See the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary entry: gear