Etymology
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gear (n.)

c. 1200, "fighting equipment, armor and weapons," probably from Old Norse gørvi (plural gørvar) "apparel, gear," related to görr, gørr, gerr "skilled, accomplished; ready, willing," and to gøra, gørva "to make, construct, build; set in order, prepare," a very frequent verb in Old Norse, used in a wide range of situations from writing a book to dressing meat.

This is from Proto-Germanic *garwjan "to make, prepare, equip" (source also of Old English gearwe "clothing, equipment, ornament," which may be the source of some uses; Old Saxon garwei; Dutch gaar "done, dressed;" Old High German garo "ready, prepared, complete," garawi "clothing, dress," garawen "to make ready;" German gerben "to tan"). Old English glossed Latin apparatus with gearcung.

From early 14c. as "wearing apparel, clothes, dress;" also "harness of a draught animal; equipment of a riding horse." From late 14c. as "equipment generally; tools, utensils," especially the necessary equipment for a certain activity, as the rigging of a sailing ship. It was used generically as an affix in 16c. canting slang for "thing, stuff, material."

Meaning "toothed wheel in machinery" is attested by 1520s; specific mechanical sense of "parts by which a motor communicates motion" is from 1814; specifically of a vehicle (bicycle, automobile, etc.) by 1888. Slang for "male sex organs" from 1670s.

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heriot (n.)

Old English here-geatwe (plural) "military equipment, army-gear," from here "army" (see harry (v.)) + geatwe, from Proto-Germanic *gatawja- "equipment," from Germanic root *taw- "to make, manufacture" (see taw (v.)). An Anglo-Saxon service of weapons, loaned by the lord to his retainer and repayable to him upon the retainer's death; sense transferred by 13c. to a feudal due upon the death of a tenant, payable to his lord in beasts.

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garb (n.)

"fashion of dress," 1620s, from earlier sense "person's outward demeanor" (c. 1600), originally "elegance, stylishness" (1590s), from French garbe "graceful outline, gracefulness, comeliness" (Modern French galbe) or directly from Italian garbo "grace, elegance, pleasing manners, " which is from Old High German gar(a)wi "dress, equipment, preparation," or some other Germanic source, from Proto-Germanic *garwi- "equipment; adornment" (see gear (n.)).

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cannibalize (v.)

1798 (in Burke's memoirs), figurative, and meaning "be perverted into cannibalism," from cannibal + -ize. The meaning "take parts from one construction and use them in another" is from 1943, originally of military equipment. Related: Cannibalized; cannibalizing.

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backhoe (n.)

"excavating equipment consisting of a digging bucket on the end of an articulated arm, typically mounted on the back of a tractor," by 1928, from back (n. or adj.) + hoe (n.).

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get-up (n.)

also getup, 1847, "equipment, costume," from get (v.) + up (adv.). Meaning "initiative, energy" recorded from 1841. The verbal phrase is recorded from mid-14c. as "to rise."

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-mat 

commercial word-forming element denoting devices that work automatically or businesses containing self-service equipment, abstracted from automat (1903), which probably is from automatic, in which case the element is etymologically from Greek matos "thinking, animated."

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impedimenta (n.)

"traveling equipment," c. 1600, from Latin impedimenta "luggage, military baggage," literally "hindrances," on the notion of "that by which one is impeded;" plural of impedimentum "hindrance" (see impediment).

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retool (v.)

also re-tool, 1866, "to shape again with a tool," from re- "back, again" + tool (v.). Meaning "to furnish a factory with new equipment" is recorded from 1940. Related: Retooled; retooling.

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reactor (n.)

"one that reacts," 1835, agent noun in Latin form from react. By 1915 in electricity as "coil or other piece of equipment which provides reactance in a circuit;" the nuclear sense is attested from 1945.

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