to wear away


From The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48:

Wear \Wear\, v. t. [imp. Wore (w[=o]r); p. p. Worn
   (w[=o]rn); p. pr. & vb. n. Wearing. Before the 15th century
   wear was a weak verb, the imp. & p. p. being Weared.] [OE.
   weren, werien, AS. werian to carry, to wear, as arms or
   clothes; akin to OHG. werien, weren, to clothe, Goth. wasjan,
   L. vestis clothing, vestire to clothe, Gr. "enny`nai, Skr.
   vas. Cf. Vest.]
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   1. To carry or bear upon the person; to bear upon one's self,
      as an article of clothing, decoration, warfare, bondage,
      etc.; to have appendant to one's body; to have on; as, to
      wear a coat; to wear a shackle.
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            What compass will you wear your farthingale? --Shak.
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            On her white breast a sparkling cross she wore,
            Which Jews might kiss, and infidels adore. --Pope.
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   2. To have or exhibit an appearance of, as an aspect or
      manner; to bear; as, she wears a smile on her countenance.
      "He wears the rose of youth upon him." --Shak.
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            His innocent gestures wear
            A meaning half divine.                --Keble.
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   3. To use up by carrying or having upon one's self; hence, to
      consume by use; to waste; to use up; as, to wear clothes
      rapidly.
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   4. To impair, waste, or diminish, by continual attrition,
      scraping, percussion, on the like; to consume gradually;
      to cause to lower or disappear; to spend.
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            That wicked wight his days doth wear. --Spenser.
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            The waters wear the stones.           --Job xiv. 19.
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   5. To cause or make by friction or wasting; as, to wear a
      channel; to wear a hole.
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   6. To form or shape by, or as by, attrition.
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            Trials wear us into a liking of what, possibly, in
            the first essay, displeased us.       --Locke.
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   To wear away, to consume; to impair, diminish, or destroy,
      by gradual attrition or decay.

   To wear off, to diminish or remove by attrition or slow
      decay; as, to wear off the nap of cloth.

   To wear on or To wear upon, to wear. [Obs.] "[I] weared
      upon my gay scarlet gites [gowns.]" --Chaucer.

   To wear out.
      (a) To consume, or render useless, by attrition or decay;
          as, to wear out a coat or a book.
      (b) To consume tediously. "To wear out miserable days."
          --Milton.
      (c) To harass; to tire. "[He] shall wear out the saints of
          the Most High." --Dan vii. 25.
      (d) To waste the strength of; as, an old man worn out in
          military service.

   To wear the breeches. See under Breeches. [Colloq.]
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