In an interview with a Czech neurologist, I've heard that much of the mental health (such as the ability to reason, communicate and process information) in older age mainly depends​ on the amount of informational ballast we create. The argument states that with this additional information, we unnecessarily wear some of the basic mental mechanisms off (Even though there's not​ the effect of "too much memories").

I want to express that the mental processes gradually damage by use. Is the verb "wear off"used correctly here? What if I wanted to say "all tools are being damaged by use", would the phrase fit here?

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    Wear down and as @JavaLatte says, wear out are more common idioms, but erode might be more suitable in a formal context. With 'tools', blunt (transitive only) is not uncommon: the metaphor is that of taking the edge off a blade Apr 8, 2017 at 14:08

1 Answer 1


Wear off is not the appropriate compound verb, as we use it to describe a feeling or the effect of something wears off, and gradually disappears. We might, for example, use it to describe the day after some excessive alcohol consumption like this:

By lunch-time, the effects of the alcohol were starting to wear off.

A suitable expression might be wear out, which means to use something so much or for so long that it is no longer usable, for example:

He spends so long in that armchair that it's starting to wear out.

If the tools are not completely worn out, you would qualify it, for example with starting to as in the above example or by saying that something is nearly worn out.

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