- 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.
- 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.
Origin of bearing
SynonymsSee more synonyms on Thesaurus.com
Examples from the Web for bearings
With little of the original structure still standing, I find it quite difficult to get my bearings.Pablo Escobar’s Private Prison Is Now Run by Monks for Senior Citizens
June 7, 2014
To help us get our bearings, we gave House of Cards showrunner Beau Willimon a call.Beau Willimon on Most Shocking Twists in ‘House of Cards’ Season 2
February 15, 2014
Occasionally, I lose my bearings and permit myself an ounce of sympathy for Republican chairman Reince Priebus.Reince Priebus’s Terrible Case for GOP Reform
June 17, 2013
Or the advisors who recommended it had temporarily lost their bearings.Romney Won the Debate but it Was No Game Changer
October 4, 2012
Now the changes within secular Israel have loosened their bearings even more.The Coming Kulturkampf?
May 17, 2012
This afternoon I took a round of angles and bearings from a pile of stones on the hill.Explorations in Australia
Thus they discussed on familiar lines the bearings of a new situation.The Secret Agent
Possibly strangers may not comprehend all the bearings; but that is not your fault.
"Very well," he replied, so calmly that she lost her bearings for a moment.
For a moment he lost his bearings and stammered in confusion.
- 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 plural) the position or direction, as of a ship, fixed with reference to two or more known points
- (usually plural) a sense of one's relative position or situation; orientation (esp in the phrases lose, get, or take one's bearings)
- a device or emblem on a heraldic shield; charge
- another name for coat of arms
Word Origin and History for bearings
"parts of a machine which 'bear' the friction," 1791, from present participle of bear (v.). Meaning "direction from a point of reference" is from 1630s; to take (one's) bearings is from 1711.
"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.
Idioms and Phrases with bearings
see get one's bearings.