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wear someone down
1. Fig. to exhaust someone. This hot weather wears me down. The steamy weather wore down the tourists and made them stay in their hotels.
2. Fig. to reduce someone to submission or agreement by constant badgering. Finally they wore me down and I told them what they wanted to know. The interrogation wore down the suspect.
wear something down
to grind something away; to erode something. The constant rubbing of the door wore the carpet down. The rubbing of the door wore down the carpet.
Fig. to break down with wear; to erode. The steps had worn down so much that each one was curved and slanted dangerously.
Diminish, weaken, or tire by relentless pressure, as in The heels of these shoes are quite worn down, or Her constant nagging about getting a new car wore down his resistance. [First half of 1800s]
1. To damage, diminish, erode, or consume something by long or hard use, attrition, or exposure: The weather wore the shingles down. The heavy crowds wore down the carpets.
2. To be gradually damaged, diminished, eroded, or consumed by long or hard use, attrition, or exposure: The water pipes have been in use for more than 100 years and are starting to wear down.
3. To fatigue, weary, or exhaust someone or something: The race wore me down. The new employee is wearing down my patience.
4. To become fatigued, weary, or exhausted: I was beginning to wear down, so I took a bus home instead of walking.
5. To cause someone to submit by relentless pressure or resistance: By holding out, we finally wore them down. Management finally wore down the union, and the strike was ended.