wear down

1) PHR-V-ERG If you wear something down or if it wears down, it becomes flatter or smoother as a result of constantly rubbing against something else.

[V P n (not pron)] Pipe smokers sometimes wear down the tips of their teeth where they grip their pipes...

[V P] The machines start to wear down, they don't make as many nuts and bolts as they used to...

[V n P] Although the tusk grows throughout the life of the elephant, they're wearing it down faster than they can grow it.

2) PHRASAL VERB If you wear someone down, you make them gradually weaker or less determined until they eventually do what you want.

[V P n (not pron)] None can match your sheer will-power and persistence in wearing down the opposition...

[V P n (not pron)] They hoped the waiting and the uncertainty would wear down my resistance...

[V n P] He believed that he could wear her down if he only asked often enough.


English dictionary. 2008.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • wear down — [wear off] or[wear away] {v.} 1. To remove or disappear little by little through use, time, or the action of weather. * /Time and weather have worn off the name on the gravestone./ * /The eraser has worn off my pencil./ * /The grass has worn away …   Dictionary of American idioms

  • wear down — [wear off] or[wear away] {v.} 1. To remove or disappear little by little through use, time, or the action of weather. * /Time and weather have worn off the name on the gravestone./ * /The eraser has worn off my pencil./ * /The grass has worn away …   Dictionary of American idioms

  • wear\ down — • wear down • wear off • wear away v 1. To remove or disappear little by little through use, time, or the action of weather. Time and weather have worn off the name on the gravestone. The eraser has worn off my pencil. The grass has worn away… …   Словарь американских идиом

  • wear down — index diminish, erode, harass, prevail (persuade), tax (overwork) Burton s Legal Thesaurus. William C. Burton …   Law dictionary

  • wear down — verb 1. exhaust or get tired through overuse or great strain or stress (Freq. 1) We wore ourselves out on this hike • Syn: ↑tire, ↑wear upon, ↑tire out, ↑wear, ↑weary, ↑jade, ↑ …   Useful english dictionary

  • wear down — phrasal verb [transitive, often passive] Word forms wear down : present tense I/you/we/they wear down he/she/it wears down present participle wearing down past tense wore down past participle worn down 1) to make someone gradually lose their… …   English dictionary

  • wear down — phr verb Wear down is used with these nouns as the object: ↑opposition …   Collocations dictionary

  • wear down — become dull or weak, use until worn    Confinement in a prison began to wear down his spirit …   English idioms

  • wear down — Synonyms and related words: ablate, abrade, affect, argue into, beat, bend, bias, bring over, bring round, bring to reason, burn out, captivate, charm, color, con, convince, debilitate, dispose, do in, do up, drain, draw over, enervate, erode,… …   Moby Thesaurus

  • wear down — verb a) To cause (someone) physical or mental fatigue. The eight hour shift in the mine began to wear Tim down after a few months. b) To have ones long hair styled in a free, low hanging, unencumbered style; i.e., not in an up do or ponytail. For …   Wiktionary


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