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grind (someone's) gears

To greatly or specifically irritate or annoy someone. It really grinds my gears when cyclists go zipping through red lights! John's not a bad guy, but he has a habit of grinding people's gears with his political rants.
See also: gear, grind

in full gear

At the highest or maximum level of function, operation, or performance. The project is in full gear now that we have Sally on board.
See also: full, gear

move through the gears

To steadily increase one's momentum, as of speed, intensity, progress, or success. The home team has been training for weeks for this showdown, but they've barely had to move through the gears against such a poor performance by their opponents. With a lot of hard work and perseverance, our little business is finally starting to move through the gears!
See also: gear, move

get (oneself) in gear

To prepare oneself to do something. I know you said you would take out the trash, but get yourself in gear and do it already! I really need to get myself in gear and finish writing this paper—it's due tomorrow!
See also: gear, get

into high gear

To a faster or more intense pace. All right, let's kick it into high gear for the last part of today's workout! I've always been a good student, but now that I'm trying to get a scholarship for college, my studying has gone into high gear.
See also: gear, high

gear someone or something up (for someone or something)

to prepare someone or something for someone or something. We have to gear up the workers for the arrival of the new manager. We geared ourselves up for Frank, who was coming to lecture to us.
See also: gear, up

gear something to someone or something

to cause something to match something else; to create or adapt something for a specific purpose. Tim geared his speech to his audience. The newspaper geared its language to a fourth-grade reading level.
See also: gear

gear up for someone or something

to get ready for something. We are busy gearing up for Joan's visit next week.
See also: gear, up

get one's ass in gear

 and get one's tail in gear
Sl. to get moving; to get organized and get started. (Use caution.) Come on, you guys. Get moving. Get your ass in gear!
See also: ass, gear, get

*in full swing

 and *in high gear
Fig. at the peak of activity; moving fast or efficiently. (*Typically: be ~; move [into] ~; get [into] ~.) In the summer months, things really get into full swing around here. We go skiing in the mountains each winter. Things are in high gear there in November.
See also: full, swing

*in high gear

1. [of a machine, such as a car] set in its highest gear, giving the greatest speed. (*Typically: be ~; get [into] ~; move [into] ~.) When my car is in highgear, it goes very fast. You can't start out in high gear. You must work up through the low ones.
2. Go to in full swing.
See also: gear, high

swing into high gear

to begin operating at a fast pace; to increase the rate of activity. During the winter season we swing into high gear around here. The chef swings into high gear around six o'clock in preparation for the theater crowd.
See also: gear, high, swing

in gear

working well I'd just awakened and I didn't have my brain in gear yet.
Usage notes: often used in the form get something (back) in gear: Leaders from both sides will meet in Washington in an effort to get peace talks back in gear.
Etymology: based on the idea of an engine with gears (machine parts that help an engine move or operate a machine or vehicle)
See also: gear

in high gear

also in full gear
at the highest level of operation Preparations for the convention started weeks ago and are now in high gear.
See also: gear, high

shift gears

also switch gears
to suddenly change what you are doing I'd like to shift gears now and talk about a personal concern.
Etymology: based on the idea that a vehicle will change speed when you change gears (machine parts)
See also: gear, shift

in full swing

moving quickly forward In Moscow, a building boom is in full swing.
See also: full, swing

get your arse in gear

  (very informal!)
to force yourself to start working or to hurry If she doesn't get her arse in gear she'll be late again.
See also: arse, gear, get

get your brain in gear

to make yourself start thinking clearly and effectively I've got to get my brain in gear for the meeting this afternoon.
See also: brain, gear, get

get in/into gear

to start to work effectively and with energy After a few days out of the office it always takes me a while to get into gear when I come back.
See also: gear, get

move/step up a gear

to start to work or play more effectively or quickly than before With just five lengths to go, the German swimmer stepped up a gear and edged ahead to win the race.
See also: gear, move, up

high gear

A state of maximum activity, energy, or force. For example, His mind was in high gear as he studied for the medical exam, or The political campaign is finally moving into high gear. This expression alludes to the high gear of an engine transmission, used at the fastest speeds.
See also: gear, high

in full swing

Also, in full cry. In full operation, at the highest level of activity. For example, After the strike it would be some time before production was in full swing, or His supporters were out in full cry. The first expression, dating from the mid-1800s, alludes to the vigorous movement of a swinging body. The second employs full cry in the sense of "vigorous pursuit," a usage dating from the late 1500s that may be dying out.
See also: full, swing

slip a cog

Also, slip a gear or one's gears . Lose one's ability to reason soundly or make correct judgments, as in She must have slipped a cog or she would never have gone out barefoot in December, or What's the matter with him? Has he slipped his gears? These slangy usages allude to a mechanical failure owing to the cog of a gear or a gear failing to mesh. The first dates from about 1930, the variant from the 1960s.
See also: cog, slip

gear toward

or gear to
To alter something in order to meet needs, requirements, or expectations of someone or something: We must gear our presentation toward the younger members of the audience. The redesign of the aircraft was geared to making it use fuel more efficiently.
See also: gear, toward

gear up

1. To get ready for something, especially an upcoming action or event; prepare for something: The investors geared up for the merger of the two companies.
2. To get something ready for an upcoming action or event: The company is gearing up its marketing team for the release of the new film. We geared the truck up for the journey.
See also: gear, up


1. mod. excellent. This jazz is really gear!
2. n. an asterisk (*). The gear stands for anything you want it to stand for.

get one’s ass in gear

and get one’s tail in gear
exclam. to get moving; to get organized and get started. (Usually objectionable.) Come on, you guys. Get moving. Get your ass in gear! Get moving, guys. Get your tail in gear and keep moving!
See also: ass, gear, get

get one’s tail in gear

See also: gear, get, tail

reverse gears

tv. to wretch as a prelude to vomiting; to vomit the stomach contents. Beavis is reversing gears and might be going to vomit. You never know with Beavis.
See also: gear, reverse

swing into high gear

in. to begin operating at a fast pace; to increase the rate of activity. The chef swings into high gear around eight o’clock in preparation for the theater crowd.
See also: gear, high, swing

in full swing

At the highest level of activity or operation.
See also: full, swing
References in periodicals archive ?
Kinematical scheme of turbo unit with steam turbine, ordinary double-helical gear train and electric generator set is shown in Fig.
We brought up the gear handle, cycled the LGCU and the emergency gear CBs, did a PFCS reset, and immediately brought down the handle.
Due to this load distribution feature, which segments the load into several smaller components, the BHS power distribution gear unit is the ideal solution for high power, high speed applications.
Therefore, in present study, finishing time of 24 min is found the most appropriate for PECH of spur gears.
If the driver is a gear (as in the illustration) it will usually be found that point a on the pitch circle of the driver coincides with a point on the pitch circle of a planet gear which either itself engages the fixed gear in the train or is keyed to the same shaft as another planet gear which engages the fixed gear.
As far as I know, we have manufactured the smallest metal gears ever made," he says.
The benefits of the use of ADI with shot peening produced a gear with good fatigue life, 10% lighter weight, less noise because of the dumping capacity, greater torsional ultimate strength and, because of the graphite in the nodular iron, improved score resistance.
In July 2011, the Equipment Industry Division of Ministry of Industry and Information Technology of China announced "Twelfth Five-Year" Development Plan for General Parts and Components Industry, making a clear plan for the gear industry.
Read 65 Pages Report on Global Gear Manufacturing Market 2015-2019.
The auto differential gear market analysis is provided for both the international and Chinese domestic situations including development trends, competitive landscape analysis, key regions development status and a comparison analysis between the international and Chinese markets.
84 inch curved Super AMOLED display and interchangeable band, Gear Fit was designed with health and wellness in mind.
By adding another planetary gear set, along with two clutches, torque is boosted at lower speeds.
Even with all the ground they've gained, their evolution is far from over as new and more demanding gear applications continue to emerge.
That can break ring gear teeth of cause the inserts for the azimuth motor bracket to pop out.
Federal records show at least seven cases dating back to the 1990s when A320s couldn't retract their nose landing gear because the wheels turned sideways.