The Past Tense of Wear: Here’s What It Is and How to Use It

Have you ever got stuck on the correct past tense of the word wear in English grammar? This article will explain the conjugations of the word wear and also define wear and give you all the information you need about the word.

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What Is the Definition of the Word Wear?

The word wear is defined in the English language as:

Transitive verb 

  • to bear or have on the person
    • wore a coat
  • to use habitually for clothing, adornment, or assistance
    • wears a size 10
    • wear glasses
  • to carry on the person
    • wear a sword
  • to hold the rank or dignity or position signified by (an ornament)
    • wear the royal crown
  • Exhibit, present
    • wore a happy smile
    • commend the book for wearing its research so lightly — Brad Leithauser
  • to show or fly (a flag or colors) on a ship
  • to cause to deteriorate by use
  • to impair or diminish by use or attrition: consume or waste gradually
    • letters on the stone worn away by weathering
  • to produce gradually by friction or attrition
    • wear a hole in the rug
  • to exhaust or lessen the strength of: weary, fatigue
  • to cause (a ship) to go about with the stern presented to the wind
  • British: to accept or tolerate without complaint: put up with —usually used in negative constructions
    • your mates wouldn’t wear it — Colin MacInnes

Intransitive verb

  •  to endure use: last under use or the passage of time
    • material that will wear for years
  • to retain quality or vitality
    • the classics wear well
  • to diminish or decay through use
    • the heels of his shoes began to wear
  • to diminish or fail with the passage of time
    • the effect of the drug wore off
    • the day wore on
  • to grow or become by attrition or use
    • the blade wore dull
  • of a ship: to change to an opposite tack by turning the stern to the wind
  • wear on
  • Irritate, fray
    • the constant beeping wore on my nerves
  • wear the trousers or wear the pants
  • to have the controlling authority in a household
  • wear thin
  • to become weak or ready to give way
    • my patience was wearing thin
  • to become trite, unconvincing, or out-of-date
    • an argument that quickly wore thin


  •  the act of wearing: the state of being worn
    • clothes for everyday wear
  • clothing or an article of clothing usually of a particular kind
  • especially: clothing worn for a special occasion or popular during a specific period
  • Fashion, vogue
  • wearing quality: durability under use
  • the result of wearing or use: diminution or impairment due to use
    • wear-resistant surface

Geographical name

  • river 67 miles (108 kilometers) long in northern England flowing into the North Sea at Sunderland

What Is the Past Tense of Wear?

Since it’s an irregular verb, the past tense of wear is wore. This would be used in a sentence like: I wore my favorite sweater to class on Friday.

How Do You Conjugate Wear?

Here are some verb conjugations of the English verb wear including the past tense verb forms:

Infinitive/Base Form: To wear

Past Participle of Wear: Worn

Present Participle/Gerund: Wearing

Present Perfect: Have worn

​Past Perfect Tense: Had worn

Simple Present TenseSimple Past TenseFuture Tense
I wearworeAm wearing
You wearworeAre wearing
Third-Person Singular      
He/ she/it wears
woreIs wearing
We wearworeAre wearing
They wearworeAre wearing

Synonyms of Wear

  • Break – to become inoperative because of damage, wear, or strain
  • Burn out –  exhaustion of physical or emotional strength or motivation usually as a result of prolonged stress or frustration
  • Bust –  exhaust, wear out —used in phrases like bust one’s butt to describe making a strenuous effort
  • Do in – to bring about the defeat or destruction of
  • Do up – to prepare (as by cleaning or repairing) for wear or use
  • Wash out – to destroy or make useless by the force or action of water
  • Drain – to exhaust physically or emotionally
  • Exhaust –  to tire extremely or completely 
  • Fatigue –  the uniform or work clothing worn on fatigue and in the field
  • Frazzle –  to put in a state of extreme physical or nervous fatigue

Examples of the Word in Context


Next time you need to write the word wear, you will be well prepared for everything you need to know what it is and how to use it efficiently. You should feel confident with the different conjugations, the history of the word, and the definition.