Bearing



the manner in which one conducts or carries oneself, including posture and gestures:
a man of dignified bearing.
the act, capability, or period of producing or bringing forth:
a tree past bearing.
something that is produced; a crop.
the act of enduring or capacity to endure.
reference or relation (usually followed by on):
It has some bearing on the problem.
Architecture.

a supporting part of a structure.
the area of contact between a bearing member, as a beam, and a pier, wall, or other underlying support.

Machinery. the support and guide for a rotating, oscillating, or sliding shaft, pivot, or wheel.
Often, bearings. direction or relative position:
The pilot radioed his bearings.
Surveying. a horizontal direction expressed in degrees east or west of a true or magnetic north or south direction.
Heraldry. any single device on an escutcheon; charge.
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.
bear down,

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.

bear off,

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.
any of the plantigrade, carnivorous or omnivorous mammals of the family Ursidae, having massive bodies, coarse heavy fur, relatively short limbs, and almost rudimentary tails.
any of various animals resembling the bear, as the ant bear.
a gruff, burly, clumsy, bad-mannered, or rude person.
a person who believes that market prices, especially of stocks, will decline (opposed to bull).
Informal. a person who shows great ability, enthusiasm, stamina, etc.:
a bear for physics.
(initial capital letter) Astronomy. either of two constellations, Ursa Major or Ursa Minor.
Informal. a player at cards who rarely bluffs.
(initial capital letter) Russia.
having to do with or marked by declining prices, as of stocks:
bear market.
Stock Exchange. to force prices down in (a market, stock, etc.).
loaded for bear, Informal. fully prepared and eager to initiate or deal with a fight, confrontation, or trouble:
Keep away from the boss—he’s loaded for bear today.
Contemporary Examples

What they say has no bearing—frequently on the truth, or on whether a deal will get done.
The Stock Market Doesn’t Care About the Fiscal Cliff Daniel Gross November 28, 2012

The former open, relaxed, receptive, the latter, white knuckled focus, bearing down on the task at hand.
Jonah Lehrer’s Imagine Explores Creativity for Capitalists Casey Schwartz March 14, 2012

Workers responded by laboring harder and longer and bearing more children in a desperate attempt to outrun their Malthusian trap.
Answering a Murray Defender David Frum February 7, 2012

The 150 bodies, bearing gunshot wounds, are purported to be the corpses of suspected militants.
Terrified Whispers in Pakistan Fatima Bhutto October 21, 2009

Her father, Frederick Dalziel, was British and with a bearing and patter that suggested far more wealth than he had.
Understanding Diana Vreeland, ‘Empress of Fashion’ Robin Givhan November 27, 2012

Historical Examples

bearing these principles in mind, let us see what we can learn of their habitations.
The Prehistoric World E. A. Allen

I dwell on the subject only because of its bearing on the love of God.
The Conquest of Fear Basil King

I’m glad that I had to bear so much, for bearing it is what makes me free now.
The Kentons William Dean Howells

Sin brings its punishment, and it is hard work, bearing its burden!
Life in London Edwin Hodder

The first section of the new Orders issued in 1821 may be quoted as bearing upon the structure of the hackneys.
Carriages & Coaches Ralph Straus

noun
a support, guide, or locating piece for a rotating or reciprocating mechanical part
foll by on or upon. relevance (to): it has no bearing on this problem
a person’s general social conduct, esp in manners, dress, and behaviour

the act, period, or capability of producing fruit or young
an amount produced; yield

the part of a beam or lintel that rests on a support
anything that carries weight or acts as a support
the angular direction of a line, point, or course measured from true north or south (true bearing), magnetic north or south (magnetic bearing), or one’s own position
(usually pl) the position or direction, as of a ship, fixed with reference to two or more known points
(usually pl) a sense of one’s relative position or situation; orientation (esp in the phrases lose, get, or take one’s bearings)
(heraldry)

a device or emblem on a heraldic shield; charge
another name for coat of arms

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
(stock exchange)

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
n.

“carrying of oneself, deportment,” mid-13c., verbal noun from bear (v.). Mechanical sense of “part of a machine that bears the friction” is from 1791.
v.

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.
n.

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.

noun

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

Related Terms

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”]

Related Terms

smokey bear

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).

bear a grudge
bear down
bear fruit
bear in mind
bear one’s cross
bear out
bear the brunt
bear up
bear with

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Read Also:

  • Bearing down

    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 […]

  • Bearing out

    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 […]



  • Bearing pedestal

    noun an independent support for a bearing, usually incorporating a bearing housing

  • Bearing pile

    noun a foundation pile that supports weight vertically Compare sheet pile



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