Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Medical, Legal, Acronyms, Encyclopedia, Wikipedia.
Like this video? Subscribe to our free daily email and get a new idiom video every day!

wear rose-colored glasses

To assume an unduly optimistic and cheerful attitude (toward something); to focus solely or primarily on the positive aspects (of something). Primarily heard in US. Many of us wear rose-colored glasses when we think back to our childhoods. It's part of the reason nostalgia is such a powerful emotional draw. I find it a little irksome how you always wear rose-colored glasses, even in the worst of times!
See also: glass, wear

wear too many hats

business slang To hold too many responsibilities or assume too many roles at the same time. One of the pitfalls many entrepreneurs fall into when setting up a new company is to wear too many hats, which not only spreads themselves very thin, but ends up being counterproductive to the operation as a whole.
See also: hat, many, wear

wear (one's) fingers to the bone

To work excessively hard. Likened to literally wearing the skin off of one's hands. I have worn my fingers to the bone renovating this house, and I'm glad to say that it has all been worth it. You have everyone wearing their fingers to the bone. You need to give them a break or they'll burn out.
See also: bone, finger, wear

wear out

1. To cause to become worn, as from frequent or rough use. A noun or pronoun can be used between "wear" and "out." Coming to abrupt stops like that is really going to wear out your breaks. It's amazing how quick my kids wear their shoes out.
2. To exhaust one. A noun or pronoun can be used between "wear" and "out." You forgot how much standing all day can really wear you out. I'm going to try to wear out the toddlers so they go right to sleep tonight.
See also: out, wear

wear thin

1. Of an object, often a fabric, to physically become thinner or cause to become worn, as from frequent use. A noun or pronoun can be used between "wear" and "thin." You can see here how the leather has been worn thin by years of use.
2. To diminish or become less effective. Please try to behave. My patience is beginning to wear thin. It was cute the first few times that he did it, but his little routine has worn thin.
See also: thin, wear

be worn to a frazzle

To be exhausted and nervous. I'm just worn to a frazzle after a week with my relatives. I'm so glad that they're leaving tomorrow!
See also: frazzle, worn

wear (oneself) to a frazzle

To make oneself exhausted and anxious through too much work, effort, or worry. I wore myself to a frazzle trying to accommodate all our relatives over Christmas. It was nice having them here, but I'm so glad they're gone! They're wearing themselves to a frazzle with how overprotective they are of their kids.
See also: frazzle, wear

wear (oneself) to a shadow

To make oneself exhausted and anxious through too much work. I wore myself to a shadow trying to accommodate all our relatives over Christmas. It was nice having them here, but I'm so glad they're gone! My brother is wearing himself to a shadow trying to run his own business.
See also: shadow, wear

swear out

1. Of a police officer, to make a written declaration under oath in the presence of an authorized person, especially to use as evidence or in order to obtain a warrant. The disgraced cop admitted to swearing out false affidavits to confound investigations in return for bribes from the notorious crime syndicate. The judge swore out a warrant to search the suspect's home, but it was never served by police.
2. To issue a litany of profane language as a reprimand or attack against someone. In this usage, a noun or pronoun is used between "swear" and "out." He stood there swearing out the driver that nearly backed into his car. The boss swore me out for a good five minutes for messing up the accounts so badly.
See also: out, swear

wear out

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.
See also: out, wear

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.
See also: out, wear

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.
See also: out, wear

swear out

Obtain a warrant for arrest by making a charge under oath, as in The school principal swore out a warrant for the arrest of the vandals. [Late 1800s]
See also: out, swear

wear out

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]
See also: out, wear

wear thin

1. Be weakened or diminished gradually, as in My patience is wearing thin. [Late 1800s]
2. Become less convincing, acceptable, or popular, as in His excuses are wearing thin. [First half of 1990s] Both usages transfer the thinning of a physical object, such as cloth, to nonmaterial characteristics.
See also: thin, wear

worn to a frazzle

In a state of nervous exhaustion, as in The very idea of moving again has us worn to a frazzle. This expression transfers frazzle, which means "a frayed edge," to one's feelings. [Late 1800s]
See also: frazzle, worn

be burnt, worn, etc. to a ˈfrazzle

(informal) be completely burnt/extremely tired: After working all weekend at the hospital, Deborah was worn to a frazzle.
See also: frazzle

wear ˈthin

begin to become less; become less interesting or amusing: My patience is beginning to wear very thin.Don’t you think that joke’s wearing a bit thin? (= we have heard it many times before)
See also: thin, wear

swear out

To obtain some warrant for arrest by making a charge under oath: The victims swore out a warrant against their attacker.
See also: out, swear

wear out

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.
See also: out, wear

wear thin

1. To be weakened or eroded gradually: Her patience is wearing thin.
2. To become less convincing, acceptable, or popular, as through repeated use: excuses that are wearing thin.
See also: thin, wear
References in periodicals archive ?
10 exhibits the SEM images of the surface melting on the worn surface of as-cast samples tested at 80 N and 2.
The person wearing it could have worn western clothing and may have more Western clothing, but preferred the Saudi jallabia.
On Java Island before 1600, Kebayas were sacred clothing to be worn only by members of the Javanese monarchy.
Replacing worn hammers as needed, and the replacement of all hammers as scheduled for rotation, will generally help maintain the rotor and shredder operation at their peak efficiency.
Figure 2 shows the effects of a worn impeller on blade and wheel wear.
They thenr ated their feelings about wearing each sweater after various "purifying" actions: washing the sweater or airing it out; altering it through gashing, reknitting or burning; having it worn by a person with qualities contrasting with those of the original source; or allowing a year to pass since the source came in contact with the sweater.
There you'll find photos, descriptions and even the episode in which the particular item of clothing was worn and by whom.
Similarly styled cuts were worn by other starlets, including presenter Kathryn Morris of ``Cold Case,'' who wore a tangerine crepe Carmen Marc Valvo and gripped a metallic Fendi purse with gold bolts.
Boxer shorts, camisoles and pajama bottoms are not just being worn to bed these days.
And there was some of that, including the retro-style Louis Verdad suit in iridescent green worn by Julieta Venegas, whose hair was braided at the back of her head like a pretzel, and the flowing hot pink Dolce & Gabbana eye-popper worn by the Black Eyed Peas femme fatal Fergie.
Helmets should also be worn when riding a scooter, skateboard or skates," said Dr.
Looks great when worn with the shell-colored spring-weight cord pant ($74) and velour hoodie in tangerine (sold as a set with elastic-drawstring pants; $98).
Jewelry dictated the gown that would be worn by Jamie Lee Curtis.
Then the white third jersey that Kobe Bryant wears on Sundays, then the blue Hardwood Classics jersey he's worn twice this season.
This is the first time The New York Pops has not worn formal concert attire and we couldn't be more proud that the group will wear Wrangler in Carnegie Hall.