Language: Old English
Origin: gearwe


1 noun
gear1 S3

in cars etc

[uncountable and countable]TTC the machinery in a vehicle such as a car, truck, or bicycle that you use to go comfortably at different speedsCOLLOCATIONS COLLOCATIONS
in/into ... gear first/second/third etc gear high/low gear top/bottom gear British English reverse gear (=for driving backwards) change gear British English change/switch/shift gears American English (=change to a different gear) crunch/grind the gears (=change gear in a way that makes an unpleasant noise) in/into gear (=with a gear connecting the engine to the wheels) out of gear (=with the engine not connected to the wheels)
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 [uncountable and countable] 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.

change gear

British English change/switch/shift gears American English to start doing something in a different way, especially using more or less energy or effort:
The boss expects us to be able to change gear just like that.


[uncountable]T 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.


DCC [uncountable] a set of clothes that you wear for a particular occasion or activity:
Bring your rain gear.
police in riot gear


TEM [uncountable] a piece of machinery that performs a particular job:
the landing gear of a plane
heavy lifting gear


[uncountable] British English informalMDD a word meaning illegal drugs, used by people who take drugs

get your ass in gear

American English informal used to tell someone to hurry [= move your ass]:
You'd better get your ass in gear - you're late.

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