The word "worn" is an adjective that describes something that gets a lot of use. From regular usage, the thing (or person) clearly shows that it looks old and might need to be replaced. Things that are worn include clothes, shoes, cars, floors, cell phones–anything that a person touches or works with regularly.

  • The bottoms of my shoes are worn. It’s time for a new pair of shoes.
  • The knees in Abdi’s pants are worn. He needs a new pair of pants.
  • Many people like to wear blue jeans that look old and worn.
  • My glasses are totally worn out. I’ve got to get a new pair.


These glasses are all worn out!

The preposition "out" is often used with "worn."

  • Linda says she’s worn out from working all day.
  • These batteries are worn out.
  • The kids are all worn out from playing soccer.

It’s worth noticing that the word "worn" is the past participle of the verb "wear." Past participles often serve double duty as adjectives (but not all of them!)

past participle
  • She has worn that jacket many times. (present perfect tense)
  • These shoes are worn for running. (past tense, passive voice)
  • He has a lot of old, worn shirts in his closet. (Unlike the previous two sentences, "worn" functions as an adjective here.)

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This page was first published on April 20, 2012. It was updated on March 5, 2015.