wear off(redirected from wearing off)
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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.
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.
wear something off (of) somethingand 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.
[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.
wear off ((of) something)
[for something] to be ground or rubbed away. (Of is usually retained before pronouns.) The paint has worn off the porch steps. The finish is wearing off.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
Diminish gradually, lose effectiveness, as in We'll wait till the drug wears off. [Late 1600s]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer. Copyright © 2003, 1997 by The Christine Ammer 1992 Trust. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
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.
The American Heritage® Dictionary of Phrasal Verbs. Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.