After years of manual labor, people's distinctive thumb markings can wear away.
But each step he took, the pain seemed to wear away more and more.
The hours wear away, and the candles are snuffed again and again.
But this blackness will wear away in three or four days' time, by anointing it often with oil of sweet almonds.
But I believe the flesh on her bones she'd wear away for any one that touched her heart.
It has a higher office than to free idleness of its languor, and wear away and amuse the long hours of a day.
Nataly spied at Dudley's behaviour, and said: 'That will wear away.
Do not eat the heart: do not wear away the heart by anxiety.
Between that time and the present full nine long hours had to wear away.
You're still so precious in your conception of art, Elly, but it'll wear away, dear.
Old English werian "to clothe, put on," from Proto-Germanic *wazjanan (cf. Old Norse verja, Old High German werian, Gothic gawasjan "to clothe"), from PIE *wes- "to clothe" (cf. Sanskrit vaste "he puts on," vasanam "garment;" Avestan vah-; Greek esthes "clothing," hennymi "to clothe," eima "garment;" Latin vestire "to clothe;" Welsh gwisgo, Breton gwiska; Old English wæstling "sheet, blanket;" Hittite washshush "garments," washanzi "they dress").
The Germanic 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 past participle wered) to a strong one (past tense wore, past participle worn) in 14c. on analogy of rhyming strong verbs such as bear and tear.
Secondary sense of "use up, gradually damage" (late 13c.) is from effect of continued use on clothes. To be the worse for wear is attested from 1782; noun phrase wear and tear is first recorded 1660s.
"action of wearing" (clothes), mid-15c., from wear (v.). Meaning "what one wears" is 1570s. To be the worse for wear is attested from 1782; noun phrase wear and tear is first recorded 1660s, implying the sense "process of being degraded by use."