Etymology: Middle English gere, from Old Norse gervi, gǫrvi; akin to Old English gearwe equipment, clothing, gearu ready — more at yare
Date: 14th century
a. clothing, garments
b. movable property ; goods
2. equipment, paraphernalia <fishing gear> 3. a. the rigging of a ship or boat b. the harness especially of horses 4. dialect chiefly British absurd talk ; nonsense 5. dialect chiefly British doings 6. a. (1) a mechanism that performs a specific function in a complete machine <steering gear> (2) a toothed wheel (3) working relation, position, order, or adjustment <got her career in gear> (4) a level or pace of functioning <kicked their performance into high gear> b. one of two or more adjustments of a transmission (as of a bicycle or motor vehicle) that determine mechanical advantage, relative speed, and direction of travel • gearless adjective II. verb Date: 1851 transitive verb 1. a. to provide (as machinery) with gearing b. to connect by gearing 2. a. to make ready for effective operation b. to adjust so as to match, blend with, or satisfy something <gearing wages to productivity> intransitive verb 1. a. British, of machinery to be in gear ; mesh b. shift 1c <gear down> 2. to become adjusted so as to match, blend, or harmonize
New Collegiate Dictionary. 2001.