Cambridge Dictionaries online Cambridge Dictionaries online

The most popular online dictionary and thesaurus for learners of English

English definition of “gear”

gear

noun 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 four or five 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).The engine and engine partsEngines and motors change gear UK (US also shift gear) to change the position of the gears to make a vehicle go faster or more slowlyDriving and operating road vehicles

gear noun (CLOTHES/EQUIPMENT)

B2 [U] the equipment, clothes, etc. that you use to do a particular activity: fishing/camping gear Police in riot gear (= protective clothing) arrived to control the protesters.
See also
Things needed for a taskSportswear and swimwear
B2 informal clothes: She wears all the latest gear.Clothing - general words

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 Learners Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)
What is the pronunciation of gear?
Add Cambridge dictionaries to your browser to your website

Definitions of “gear” in other dictionaries

Word of the Day

blueprint

a photographic copy of an early plan for a building or machine

Word of the Day

Blog

Read our blog about how the English language behaves.

Learn More

New Words

Find words and meanings that have just started to be used in English, and let us know what you think of them.

Learn More