wear thin

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Related to worn thin: wearing down, wearing off, wearing thin

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

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

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

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 ?
It is thought that Sam had been walking for days before he was found - the pads on his paws were worn thin.
Critics, being little more than intrepid concert goers, have a way of becoming worn thin by the dripping current of concert after concert.
This excuse has worn thin. It defies belief that an athlete can be stupid enough to continue taking questionable food supplements implicated in so many drug controversies.
The theme of Errand into the Maze, that of a woman conquering sexual fear, has worn thin. The only way this extended duet can hold its own is by treating fear in the abstract, and this is up to its performers.