Did you know?

Click any word in a definition or example to find the entry for that word

gear up - definition and synonyms

What are red words?

90% of the time, speakers of English use just 7,500 words in speech and writing. These words appear in red, and are graded with stars. One-star words are frequent, two-star words are more frequent, and three-star words are the most frequent.

Thesaurus diagram

The thesaurus of synonyms and related words is fully integrated into the dictionary. Click on the thesaurus category heading under the button in an entry to see the synonyms and related words for that meaning.

phrasal verb [intransitive/transitive]
Word Forms
present tense
I/you/we/theygear up
he/she/itgears up
present participlegearing up
past tensegeared up
past participlegeared up
  1. to prepare yourself, or to prepare something for an activity or event

    The tobacco companies are gearing up to fight the new tax.

    The town is gearing up for the carnival this weekend.

    gear yourself up:

    Most banks have geared themselves up for an electronic future.

See also main entry: gear

Open Dictionary

snap election

a general election … that is called earlier than expected

add a word


A must for anyone with an interest in the changing face of language. The Macmillan Dictionary blog explores English as it is spoken around the world today.

global English and language change from our blog
Macmillan learn live love play