Meaning of “gear” in the English Dictionary

"gear" in British English

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uk /ɡɪər/ us /ɡɪr/

gear noun (ENGINE PART)

B2 [ C or U ] a device, often consisting of connecting sets of wheels with teeth (= points) around the edge, that controls how much power from an engine goes to the moving parts of a machine:

Does your car have five or six gears?
I couldn't find reverse gear.
The car should be in gear (= with its gears in position, allowing the vehicle to move).
When you start a car you need to be in first (US also low) gear.
figurative After a slow start, the leadership campaign suddenly shifted into top gear (= started to advance very quickly).

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B2 [ U ] UK the equipment, clothes, etc. that you use to do a particular activity:

Police in riot gear (= protective clothing) arrived to control the protesters.
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B2 informal clothes:

She wears all the latest gear.

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gear noun (DRUGS)

[ U ] UK slang drugs:

The traffickers knew that there would always be someone willing to move the gear.

(Definition of “gear” from the Cambridge Advanced Learner’s Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)

"gear" in American English

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us /ɡɪr/

gear noun (MACHINE PART)

(in a machine) a wheel having pointed parts around the edge that come together with similar parts of other wheels to control how much power from an engine goes to the moving parts of a machine

In a vehicle, a gear is any of several limited ranges of power that are used for different speeds:

[ U ] Use second gear going up a steep hill.

gear noun (EQUIPMENT)

gear verb [ always + adv/prep ] (MAKE READY)

to make something ready or suitable for a particular purpose:

[ T ] Our program is geared to the needs of children.

Phrasal verb(s)

(Definition of “gear” from the Cambridge Academic Content Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)

"gear" in Business English

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gearnoun [ U ]

uk /ɡɪər/ us

a system or piece of equipment:

A good place to connect with other consumers is, which posts reviews on all sorts of gadgets and gear.

equipment or clothes that are used for a particular activity:

The workers said they received no protective gear or warnings about the dangers of asbestos.

informal the speed at which something happens or is done:

After a slow start, the leadership campaign suddenly shifted into gear.
high/low/top gear
move/step up a gear UK informal

to start to do something better or faster:

The price war stepped up a gear yesterday when two major chains announced they were cutting the cost of petrol.

(Definition of “gear” from the Cambridge Business English Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)