wore down


verb (used with object), wore, worn, wearing.
to carry or have on the body or about the person as a covering, equipment, ornament, or the like: to wear a coat; to wear a saber; to wear a disguise.
to have or use on the person habitually: to wear a wig.
to bear or have in one's aspect or appearance: to wear a smile; to wear an air of triumph.
to cause (garments, linens, etc.) to deteriorate or change by wear: Hard use has worn these gloves.
to impair, deteriorate, or consume gradually by use or any continued process: Long illness had worn the bloom from her cheeks.
to waste or diminish gradually by rubbing, scraping, washing, etc.: The waves have worn these rocks.
to make (a hole, channel, way, etc.) by such action.
to bring about or cause a specified condition in (a person or thing) by use, deterioration, or gradual change: to wear clothes to rags; to wear a person to a shadow.
to weary; fatigue; exhaust: Toil and care soon wear the spirit.
to pass (time) gradually or tediously (usually followed by away or out ): We wore the afternoon away in arguing.
Nautical. to bring (a vessel) on another tack by turning until the wind is on the stern.
British Dialect. to gather and herd (sheep or cattle) to a pen or pasture.
verb (used without object), wore, worn, wearing.
to undergo gradual impairment, diminution, reduction, etc., from wear, use, attrition, or other causes (often followed by away, down, out, or off ).
to retain shape, color, usefulness, value, etc., under wear, use, or any continued strain: a strong material that will wear; colors that wear well.
(of time) to pass, especially slowly or tediously (often followed by on or away ): As the day wore on, we had less and less to talk about.
to have the quality of being easy or difficult to tolerate, especially after a relatively long association: It's hard to get to know him, but he wears well.
Nautical. (of a vessel) to come round on another tack by turning away from the wind.
Obsolete. to be commonly worn; to be in fashion.
the act of wearing; use, as of a garment: articles for winter wear; I've had a lot of wear out of this coat; I had to throw away the shirt after only three wears.
the state of being worn, as on the person.
clothing or other articles for wearing; especially when fashionable or appropriate for a particular function (often used in combination): travel wear; sportswear.
gradual impairment, wasting, diminution, etc., as from use: The carpet shows wear.
the quality of resisting deterioration with use; durability.
Verb phrases
wear down,
to reduce or impair by long wearing: to wear down the heels of one's shoes.
to weary; tire: His constant talking wears me down.
to prevail by persistence; overcome: to wear down the opposition.
wear off, to diminish slowly or gradually or to diminish in effect; disappear: The drug began to wear off.
wear out,
to make or become unfit or useless through hard or extended use: to wear out clothes.
to expend, consume, or remove, especially slowly or gradually.
to exhaust, as by continued strain; weary: This endless bickering is wearing me out.
wear thin,
to diminish; weaken: My patience is wearing thin.
to become less appealing, interesting, tolerable, etc.: childish antics that soon wore thin.

before 900; (v.) Middle English weren to have (clothes) on the body, waste, damage, suffer waste or damage, Old English werian; cognate with Old Norse verja, Gothic wasjan to clothe; (noun) late Middle English were act of carrying on the body, derivative of the v.; akin to Latin vestis clothing (see vest)

wearer, noun
rewear, verb, rewore, reworn, rewearing.

26c. tire, fatigue, drain.
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Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
wear1 (wɛə)
vb (when intr, often foll by on) , wears, wearing, wore, worn
1.  (tr) to carry or have (a garment, etc) on one's person as clothing, ornament, etc
2.  (tr) to carry or have on one's person habitually: she wears a lot of red
3.  (tr) to have in one's aspect: to wear a smile
4.  (tr) to display, show, or fly: a ship wears its colours
5.  to deteriorate or cause to deteriorate by constant use or action
6.  to produce or be produced by constant rubbing, scraping, etc: to wear a hole in one's trousers
7.  to bring or be brought to a specified condition by constant use or action: to wear a tyre to shreds
8.  (intr) to submit to constant use or action in a specified way: his suit wears well
9.  (tr) to harass or weaken
10.  (of time) to pass or be passed slowly
11.  slang (Brit) (tr) to accept: Larry won't wear that argument
12.  wear ship to change the tack of a sailing vessel, esp a square-rigger, by coming about so that the wind passes astern
13.  the act of wearing or state of being worn
14.  a.  anything designed to be worn: leisure wear
 b.  (in combination): nightwear
15.  deterioration from constant or normal use or action
16.  the quality of resisting the effects of constant use
[Old English werian; related to Old High German werien, Old Norse verja, Gothic vasjan]

wear2 (wɛə)
vb , wears, wearing, wore, worn
nautical to tack by gybing instead of by going through stays
[C17: from earlier weare, of unknown origin]

Wear (wɪə)
a river in NE England, rising in NW Durham and flowing southeast then northeast to the North Sea at Sunderland. Length: 105 km (65 miles)

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
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Word Origin & History

O.E. werian "to clothe, put on," from P.Gmc. *wazjanan (cf. O.N. verja, O.H.G. werian, Goth. gawasjan "to clothe"), from PIE *wes- "to clothe" (cf. Skt. vaste "he puts on," vasanam "garment;" Avestan vah-; Gk. esthes "clothing," hennymi "to clothe," eima "garment;" L. vestire; Welsh gwisgo, Breton gwiska;
O.E. wæstling "sheet, blanket;" Hittite washshush "garments," washanzi "they dress"). The Gmc. forms "were homonyms of the vb. for 'prevent, ward off, protect' (Goth. warjan, O.E. werian, etc.), and this was prob. a factor in their early displacement in most of the Gmc. languages" [Buck]. Shifted from a weak verb (past tense and pp. wered) to a strong one (past tense wore, p.p. worn) in 14c. on analogy of rhyming strong verbs such as bear and tear. Secondary sense of "use up, gradually damage" (c.1275) is from effect of continued use on clothes. To be the worse for wear is attested from 1782; wear and tear is first recorded 1666.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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