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to become worn from use; to become diminished or useless from use. My car engine is about to wear out. It takes a lot of driving to wear out an engine.
wear someone out
Fig. to exhaust someone; to make someone tired. The coach made the team practice until he wore them out. If he wears out everybody on the team, nobody will be left to play in the game.
wear something out
to make something worthless or nonfunctional from use. I wore my shoes out in no time at all. I wore out my shoes in less than a month.
wear somebody out
to make someone very tired Those kids wore their grandmother out. The journey wore him out, and he went straight to bed as soon as he got to the hotel.
wear out somethingalso wear something out
to use something so much that it can no longer be used Randy's been cooking in a kitchen that's so old, almost everything in it has simply worn out. He wore out a pair of running shoes every three months.
Usage notes: sometimes used without something: On rough roads, tires wear out fast.
1. Become or cause to become unusable through long or heavy use, as in She wears out her shoes in no time, or The coupling in this device has worn out. [Early 1400s]
2. Exhaust, tire, as in I was worn out from packing all those books. Also see tired out. [First half of 1500s]
1. To become unusable through long or heavy use: The tent wore out after last summer's trip.
2. To make something unusable through long or heavy use: The tough job wore out my saw. Miles of hiking wore my shoes out.
3. To make someone weary; exhaust someone: The children wore me out. The class wore out the substitute teacher.
4. Chiefly Southern US To punish by spanking: If you don't behave, I'm going to have to wear you out.