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I would like a precise definition. Does 'wear' mean 'show'?

From NYT:

You don’t become president without clawing your way into the Oval Office, but voters prefer pols like J.F.K., Ronald Reagan and Barack Obama who wear their ambition lightly.

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closed as general reference by simchona, Barrie England, kiamlaluno, Robusto, Lynn Jan 1 '12 at 17:33

This question is too basic; it can be definitively and permanently answered by a single link to a standard internet reference source designed specifically to find that type of information.If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

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I think this question is borderline to be closed as general reference. The definition of 'wear' is easy to look up, though I suppose it might not be obvious since there are several definitions of the word. –  Lynn Jan 1 '12 at 7:38
    
Anything can be looked up. Quelle cochonnerie. –  user763554 Jan 1 '12 at 7:48
    
Now look up 'cochonnerie'. It's easy. And tell me which cochonnerie I mean. –  user763554 Jan 1 '12 at 7:56
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But we can't do all the work--it helps to see that the OP did some research before just posting –  simchona Jan 1 '12 at 8:28
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@user763554: The EL&U site considers "general reference" to be anything that is readily looked up by a single source - in this case the dictionary. If you had cited a dictionary definition (showing that you did indeed look it up and were still confused) I don't think anyone would have objected. For instance: "I think it means this: (cite dictionary definition meaning to show) - is that the right definition of wear in this instance?" –  Lynn Jan 1 '12 at 15:35

1 Answer 1

Basically, yes. It comes from this definition of wear:

to bear or have in one's aspect or appearance: to wear a smile; to wear an air of triumph.

In other words: voters prefer politicians who don't appear overly ambitious, even if they really are.

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