- gear [gir]n.[ME gere, prob. < ON gervi, preparation, ornament, akin to OE gearo, YARE]1.a) Obs. the clothing and equipment of a soldier, knight, etc.b) clothing; apparel2. movable property; esp., apparatus or equipment for some particular task, as a workman's tools, the rigging of a ship, a harness, etc.3.a) a toothed wheel, disk, etc. designed to mesh with another or with the thread of a wormb) [often pl.] a system of two or more gears meshed together so that the motion of one controls the speed and torque of anotherc) a specific adjustment of such a systemd) any part of a mechanism performing a specific function [the steering gear]adj.[Slang, Chiefly Brit.] highly acceptable, attractive, etc.vt.1. to furnish with gear; harness2. to adapt (one thing) so as to conform with another [to gear production to demand]3. Mech.a) to connect by gearsb) to furnish with gearsc) to put into gearvi.Mech. to be in, or come into, proper adjustment or working orderto be in, or come into, proper adjustment or working order——————gear downto adjust gears so that the driven element goes slower than the driving element, with a consequent increase in torque——————gear up1. to adjust gears so that the driven element goes faster than the driving element, with a consequent decrease in torque2. to accelerate; increase efficiency (of) [the factory geared up production]——————☆ high gear1. the arrangement of gears providing the greatest speed but little torque2. Informal high speed or efficiency——————in gear or out of gear1. (not) connected to the motor2. (not) in proper adjustment or working order——————☆ low gear1. the arrangement of gears providing little speed but great torque2. Informal low speed or efficiency——————reverse gearthe arrangement of gears providing reverse, or backward, motion——————☆ shift gears1. to change from one gear arrangement to another2. to change one's approach in handling a problem
English World dictionary. V. Neufeldt. 2014.