to hold up; support:
to bear the weight of the roof.
to hold or remain firm under (a load):
The roof will not bear the strain of his weight.
to bring forth (young); give birth to:
to bear a child.
to produce by natural growth:
a tree that bears fruit.
to hold up under; be capable of:
His claim doesn’t bear close examination.
to press or push against:
The crowd was borne back by the police.
to hold or carry (oneself, one’s body, one’s head, etc.):
to bear oneself erectly.
to conduct (oneself):
to bear oneself bravely.
to suffer; endure; undergo:
to bear the blame.
to sustain without yielding or suffering injury; tolerate (usually used in negative constructions, unless qualified):
I can’t bear your nagging. I can hardly bear to see her suffering so.
to be fit for or worthy of:
It doesn’t bear repeating.
to carry; bring:
to bear gifts.
to carry in the mind or heart:
to bear love; to bear malice.
to transmit or spread (gossip, tales, etc.).
to render; afford; give:
to bear witness; to bear testimony.
to lead; guide; take:
They bore him home.
to have and be entitled to:
to bear title.
to exhibit; show:
to bear a resemblance.
to accept or have, as an obligation:
to bear responsibility; to bear the cost.
to stand in (a relation or ratio); have or show correlatively:
the relation that price bears to profit.
to possess, as a quality or characteristic; have in or on:
to bear traces; to bear an inscription.
to have and use; exercise:
to bear authority; to bear sway.
to tend in a course or direction; move; go:
to bear west; to bear left at the fork in the road.
to be located or situated:
The lighthouse bears due north.
to bring forth young or fruit:
Next year the tree will bear.
to press or weigh down.
to strive harder; intensify one’s efforts:
We can’t hope to finish unless everyone bears down.
Nautical. to approach from windward, as a ship:
The cutter was bearing down the channel at twelve knots.
bear down on/upon,
to press or weigh down on.
to strive toward.
to approach something rapidly.
Nautical. to approach (another vessel) from windward:
The sloop bore down on us, narrowly missing our stern.
Nautical. to keep (a boat) from touching or rubbing against a dock, another boat, etc.
Nautical. to steer away.
Backgammon. to remove the stones from the board after they are all home.
bear on/upon, to affect, relate to, or have connection with; be relevant to:
This information may bear on the case.
bear out, to substantiate; confirm:
The facts bear me out.
bear up, to endure; face hardship bravely:
It is inspiring to see them bearing up so well.
bear with, to be patient or forbearing with:
Please bear with me until I finish the story.
bring to bear, to concentrate on with a specific purpose:
Pressure was brought to bear on those with overdue accounts.
History will bear down on her as it did on Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy.
Michelle Obama’s Hidden Power Kati Marton January 16, 2009
It was thought expedient to rear up this mountain, to command and bear down poor ministers.
The Covenants And The Covenanters Various
They have refused, without exception, to bear down on the word how.
The Lost Art of Reading Gerald Stanley Lee
For a moment longer, Stewart stared after it, half-expecting it to reappear and bear down upon him.
The Girl from Alsace Burton Egbert Stevenson
After a word or two with the officers, he signalled to bear down on the enemy in two lines.
The Lonely Island R.M. Ballantyne
He could bear the suspense no longer, and hoisted sail to bear down on the schooner and warn her.
The Bondman Hall Caine
Yet again, if one should see us, would she bear down upon us?
For Faith and Freedom Walter Besant
Rosie knew enough of Claude to be aware that love could not bear down the scale against this princeliness of living.
The Side Of The Angels Basil King
I’ll bear down on it when I talk to them in closing, and before then.
The Trial of Callista Blake Edgar Pangborn
Sir Samuel Hood immediately ordered the British fleet to bear down as if to attack him.
Paddy Finn W. H. G. Kingston
verb (intransitive, adverb; often foll by on or upon)
to press or weigh down
to approach in a determined or threatening manner
(of a vessel) to make an approach (to another vessel, obstacle, etc) from windward
(of a woman during childbirth) to exert a voluntary muscular pressure to assist delivery
verb (mainly transitive) bears, bearing, bore, borne
to support or hold up; sustain
to bring or convey: to bear gifts
to take, accept, or assume the responsibility of: to bear an expense
(past participle bornin passive use except when foll by by) to give birth to: to bear children
(also intransitive) to produce by or as if by natural growth: to bear fruit
to tolerate or endure: she couldn’t bear him
to admit of; sustain: his story does not bear scrutiny
to hold in the conscious mind or in one’s feelings: to bear a grudge, I’ll bear that idea in mind
to show or be marked with: he still bears the scars
to transmit or spread: to bear gossip
to render or supply (esp in the phrase bear witness)
to conduct or manage (oneself, the body, etc): she bore her head high
to have, be, or stand in (relation or comparison): his account bears no relation to the facts
(intransitive) to move, be located, or lie in a specified direction: the way bears east
to have by right; be entitled to (esp in the phrase bear title)
bear a hand, to give assistance
bring to bear, to bring into operation or effect: he brought his knowledge to bear on the situation
noun (pl) bears, bear
any plantigrade mammal of the family Ursidae: order Carnivora (carnivores). Bears are typically massive omnivorous animals with a large head, a long shaggy coat, and strong claws See also black bear, brown bear, polar bear related adjective ursine
any of various bearlike animals, such as the koala and the ant bear
a clumsy, churlish, or ill-mannered person
a teddy bear
a speculator who sells in anticipation of falling prices to make a profit on repurchase
(as modifier): a bear market Compare bull1 (sense 5)
verb bears, bearing, beared
(transitive) to lower or attempt to lower the price or prices of (a stock market or a security) by speculative selling
noun the Bear
the English name for Ursa Major, Ursa Minor
an informal name for Russia
Old English beran “to bear, bring; bring forth, produce; to endure, sustain; to wear” (class IV strong verb; past tense bær, past participle boren), from Proto-Germanic *beranan (cf. Old Saxon beran, Old Frisian bera, Old High German beran, German gebären, Old Norse bera, Gothic bairan “to carry, bear, give birth to”), from PIE root *bher- (1) meaning both “give birth” (though only English and German strongly retain this sense, and Russian has beremennaya “pregnant”) and “carry a burden, bring” (see infer).
Ball bearings “bear” the friction. Many senses are from notion of “move onward by pressure.” Old English past tense bær became Middle English bare; alternative bore began to appear c.1400, but bare remained the literary form till after 1600. Past participle distinction of borne for “carried” and born for “given birth” is from late 18c. To bear (something) in mind is from 1530s.
Old English bera “bear,” from Proto-Germanic *beron, literally “the brown (one)” (cf. Old Norse björn, Middle Dutch bere, Dutch beer, Old High German bero, German Bär), from PIE *bher- (3) “bright, brown” (see brown (adj.)).
Greek arktos and Latin ursus retain the PIE root word for “bear” (*rtko; see Arctic), but it is believed to have been ritually replaced in the northern branches because of hunters’ taboo on names of wild animals (cf. the Irish equivalent “the good calf,” Welsh “honey-pig,” Lithuanian “the licker,” Russian medved “honey-eater”). Others connect the Germanic word with Latin ferus “wild,” as if it meant “the wild animal (par excellence) of the northern woods.”
Symbolic of Russia since 1794. Used of uncouth persons since 1570s. Stock market meaning “speculator for a fall” is 1709 shortening of bearskin jobber (from the proverb sell the bearskin before one has caught the bear); i.e. “one who sells stock for future delivery, expecting that meanwhile prices will fall.” Paired with bull from c.1720. Bear claw as a type of large pastry is from 1942, originally chiefly western U.S.
A capsule containing a narcotic (1960s+ Narcotics)
A difficult school or college course (1960s+ Students)
Anything arduous or very disagreeable; bitch: It’s been a bear of a morning •Bear is attested fr 1915 in a similar sense, ”doozie, humdinger” (1950s+)
bearcat: Stokovich was a bear for records
A large, gruff man
does a bear shit in the woods
[1700s+; sense perhaps influenced by 1930s jazz musicians’ use, ”an unhappy state or condition; impoverishment,” in which it was rhyming slang for ”nowhere”]
a native of the mountain regions of Western Asia, frequently mentioned in Scripture. David defended his flocks against the attacks of a bear (1 Sam. 17:34-37). Bears came out of the wood and destroyed the children who mocked the prophet Elisha (2 Kings 2:24). Their habits are referred to in Isa. 59:11; Prov. 28:15; Lam. 3:10. The fury of the female bear when robbed of her young is spoken of (2 Sam. 17:8; Prov. 17:12; Hos. 13:8). In Daniel’s vision of the four great monarchies, the Medo-Persian empire is represented by a bear (7:5).
Press or weigh down on someone or something. For example, This pen doesn’t write unless you bear down hard on it. [ Late 1600s ]
Try hard, intensify one’s efforts, as in If you’ll just bear down, you’ll pass the test.
Move forward in a pressing or threatening way, as in The ferry bore down on our little skiff. This usage was originally nautical. [ Early 1700s ]
bear a grudge
bear in mind
bear one’s cross
bear the brunt
- Bear garden
a place for keeping or exhibiting bears, especially (formerly) for bearbaiting. a place or scene of tumult. Historical Examples The bear garden, always her favourite resort, had made her acquainted with all the divers and rumpads of the town. A Book of Scoundrels Charles Whibley The bear garden is not hyphenated when used in titles […]
- Bear grass
Also called elk grass. a tall, western North American plant, Xerophyllum tenax, of the lily family, having narrow leaves and a dense, broad cluster of tiny white flowers. any of several other plants having linear, grasslike leaves, as those of the genera Nolina and Dasylirion. Historical Examples The man crouched in the bear grass could […]
- Bear hug
a forcefully or heartily tight embrace. Wrestling. a hold in which one contestant locks both arms around the other from the front in order to make the opponent fall backward. to greet with or hold in a bear hug: eager fans bear-hugging the victorious team. Contemporary Examples Pull your lover close for a bear hug […]
- Bear in mind
(in a human or other conscious being) the element, part, substance, or process that reasons, thinks, feels, wills, perceives, judges, etc.: the processes of the human mind. Psychology. the totality of conscious and unconscious mental processes and activities. intellect or understanding, as distinguished from the faculties of feeling and willing; intelligence. a particular instance of […]