wear off


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wear off

1. To become eroded, ground, or stripped off, as from prolonged exposure to some destructive element or force. The enamel on your teeth has almost completely worn off, which is why you've been experiencing so much pain when you eat and drink. The protective coating I'd applied to the device is beginning to wear off.
2. To erode, grind, or strip off something as a result of prolonged exposure to some destructive element or force. A noun or pronoun can be used between "wear" and "off." The inclement weather in this region tends to wear the paint off of the houses after only a couple of months.
3. To fade or lessen over time; to gradually cease or dissipate. I'm giving you a mild sedative to help you calm down—it should wear off in about an hour. We'll start driving again once your nausea wears off.
See also: off, wear

wear something off (of) something

 and wear something off
to grind or rub something off something. (Of is usually retained before pronouns.) The grinding of the bottom of the boat on the sandbanks wore the barnacles off the hull. The sand wore off the barnacles.
See also: off, wear

wear off

[for the effects of something] to become less; to stop gradually. The effects of the painkiller wore off and my tooth began to hurt. I was annoyed at first, but my anger wore off.
See also: off, wear

wear off

Diminish gradually, lose effectiveness, as in We'll wait till the drug wears off. [Late 1600s]
See also: off, wear

wear off

v.
1. To diminish gradually in effect until gone: The drug wore off after eight hours.
2. To be gradually removed by long or hard use, attrition, or exposure: So many people touched the picture that its luster finally wore off.
3. To gradually remove something by long or hard use, attrition, or exposure: The inclement weather wore off the awning on my porch. The snow wore the shine off my car.
See also: off, wear
References in periodicals archive ?
After several years of taking the drug, he said, its beneficial effects began to 'wear off' more quickly, making the peaks and troughs more pronounced.
Unlike nonstick electrosurgical electrode coatings, SILVERGlide does not wear off or lose its nonstick properties over time.
An example of the latter trend is in interior automotive parts, where knobs and control handles require permanent marking that won't wear off or become indistinct with frequent use.
A fifth take Ritalin but that can wear off by evening and suppress the appetite.
But these can take up to 10 weeks to become effective and don't wear off for months after they're discontinued.
PICK a long-lasting lipstick, a gloss will wear off after one drink.
He plans a third round of memory tests, which could indicate whether the apparent effects of ecstasy are permanent or wear off with abstinence.
As it is fixed in one place, the novelty will wear off but it may be handy for checking that your car hasn't been nicked while you're on holiday.
Other vaccines elicit lower antibody concentrations and wear off faster, she says.
But the appeal of skating around city streets does wear off and after a while we were smiling more at bone-crunching falls than pulling off tricks.
Such tolerance is vital to the long-term survival of a transplant, since the antibody masks will eventually wear off, Lacy notes.