American English

Definition of wear noun from the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary



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  1. 1(usually in compounds) used especially in stores to describe clothes for a particular purpose or occasion casual/evening, etc. wear children's/ladies' wear see also footwear, menswear, sportswear, underwear
  2. 2the fact of wearing something casual clothes for everyday wear These wool suits are not designed for wear in hot climates. 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
  3. use
  4. 3the amount or type of use that something has over a period of time You should get years of wear out of that carpet.
  5. damage
  6. 4the damage or loss of quality that is caused when something has been used a lot His shoes were beginning to show signs of wear. The machines have to be checked regularly for wear.
  7. Idioms
    wear and tear
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    the damage to objects, furniture, property, etc. that is the result of normal use The insurance policy does not cover damage caused by normal wear and tear. The living-room carpet has to stand up to the combined wear and tear of two dogs and three children.
      the worse for wear (informal)
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    1. 1in a poor condition because of being used a lot
    2. 2drunk He arrived home at two in the morning, much the worse for wear.
See the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary entry: wear