From Longman Dictionary of Contemporary Englishgeargear1 /ɡɪə $ ɡɪr/ ●●○ S3 noun 1 in cars etc [countable, uncountable]TTC the machinery in a vehicle such as a car, truck, or bicycle that you use to go comfortably at different speeds His mountain bike had 18 gears. Andy drove cautiously along in third gear. Does this thing have a reverse gear? Any cyclist can climb a difficult hill; you just change gear. Don’t turn off the engine while you’re still in gear. It’s a good habit to take the car out of gear while you’re at a stoplight.2 [countable, uncountable] used to talk about the amount of effort and energy that someone is using in a situation During this period, Japan’s export industries were in top gear (=were as active as they could be). The Republican’s propaganda machine moved into high gear.step up a gear British English (=increase the level of effort) United stepped up a gear in the second half.3 → change gear4 equipment [uncountable]TEQUIPMENT a set of equipment or tools you need for a particular activity He’s crazy about photography – he’s got all the gear. We’ll need some camping gear.5 clothesDCC [uncountable] a set of clothes that you wear for a particular occasion or activity Bring your rain gear. police in riot gear► see thesaurus at clothes6 machineryTEM [uncountable] a piece of machinery that performs a particular job the landing gear of a plane heavy lifting gear7 drugs [uncountable] British English informalMDD a word meaning illegal drugs, used by people who take drugs8 → get your ass in gearCOLLOCATIONSadjectivesfirst/second/third etc gearThe heavy traffic meant that we seldom got out of second gear.a low gear (=first or second gear)You should use a low gear when going up a hill.a high gear (=third, fourth, or fifth gear)Put the car into a higher gear.top gear British English (=the highest gear)Hamilton slipped effortlessly into top gear.bottom gear British English (=the lowest gear)The car trundled slowly forward in bottom gear.reverse gear (=for driving backwards)He put the truck into reverse gear.verbschange gear (also switch/shift gears American English)It takes some time to learn when to change gear.put the car etc into (first/second/third etc) gearHe put the car into gear, and they moved slowly forwards.engage first/second etc gear (=put the car into gear)Nick struggled to engage first gear.be in the wrong gearThe straining noises from the engine told him that he was in the wrong gear.crunch/grind the gears (=change gear in a way that makes an unpleasant noise)He crunched the gears into reverse.
Examples from the Corpusgear• camping gear• The soldiers were wearing heavy combat gear and travelling in convoys.• There are bellends at either end and both are big enough to store a couple of rucksacks and cooking gear.• The truck, in first gear again, was heading through a forest of small thin jack pine.• Have you got all your football gear?• The drive is transmitted into the adjacent mill building which houses two complete sets of grinding gear and allied crushers, etc.• Did you pack my hiking gear?• Those with the most modern gear can land in zero visibility.• The 12,000 pounds of gear required for the two-day flight test relies on the interactions of 18 computers.• At 8.30 we loaded all our gear into the boat, and cruised out to a spot a few miles offshore.• Police, with riot gear on standby, were called in just after 1am this morning.• Russell wrote, adding that he was on his way to trade the weapons for scuba gear.• Everywhere you went, you'd meet a mate who had some gear.• Now that I've got all the gear, I'm ready to come out riding with you.in third gear• It is also present in third gear but much less so.• Fordwater is flat in top, St Mary's is tricky in third gear, as is Lavant.top gear• It was downhill in top gear now.• Quins had started in top gear with Will Carling ripping through the Rugby midfield for the opening try.• Accelerate smartly so that you can get into top gear as quickly as possible.• It was ready to move into top gear at very short notice.• But it was after the interval that Alton really moved into top gear.• He just had to adjust to the wide outside and Bones's new top gear, hitherto unsuspected.• Bath could not hit their top gear of late as they too slithered around in the wet.