English edit

Etymology edit

Originally the highest gear that a car could achieve; compare French en quatrième vitesse.

Noun edit

fourth gear (uncountable)

  1. (idiomatic) Full throttle; a maximal level of effort.
    • 2009, Madhu Jain, The Kapoors: The First Family of Indian Cinema, page 243:
      During the seventies, Shashi Kapoor went into fourth gear in Bollywood, while Merchant and Ivory made a slew of films, many of which were not set in India.
    • 2014, Paul Monette, The Gold Diggers: A Novel:
      After all, he did the very same thing, pool and lunch, every Friday afternoon for five months—Friday perfect because it gave his cock a rest before the weekend, when it went into fourth gear.
  2. Used other than figuratively or idiomatically: see fourth,‎ gear.

See also edit