Roget's 21st Century Thesaurus, Third Edition Copyright © 2013 by the Philip Lief Group.


Was it probable that she had anything suitable to wear to a lecture?

The grace of your figure makes everything you wear becoming.

Dare you to wear your brother's coat without the crescent which should stamp you as his cadet.

Why, you jack-fool, what would it be about save who should wear the crown of France?

No wonder Lady Macbeth declares she would be ashamed "to wear a heart so white."

The question of what to wear became, for the men, an earnest one.

Mr. Jenkins, the grocer, rented a cutaway, and bought a new Panama to wear with it.

The loose, flowing robe of her daily wear is of classic grace and dignity.

But twas right not to stay long enough to wear out your welcome.

If we wear peace on our mouths we wear it in our hearts also.'


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.


Roget's 21st Century Thesaurus, Third Edition Copyright © 2013 by the Philip Lief Group.