View synonyms for bear



[ bair ]

verb (used with object)

, bore or (Archaic) bare; borne or born; bear·ing.
  1. to hold up; support:

    to bear the weight of the roof.

    Synonyms: sustain, uphold

  2. to hold or remain firm under (a load):

    The roof will not bear the strain of his weight.

  3. to bring forth (young); give birth to:

    to bear a child.

  4. to produce by natural growth:

    a tree that bears fruit.

    Synonyms: yield

  5. to hold up under; be capable of:

    His claim doesn't bear close examination.

  6. to press or push against:

    The crowd was borne back by the police.

    Synonyms: force, drive, thrust

  7. to hold or carry (oneself, one's body, one's head, etc.):

    to bear oneself erectly.

  8. to conduct (oneself ):

    to bear oneself bravely.

  9. to suffer; endure; undergo:

    to bear the blame.

  10. 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.

    Synonyms: suffer, abide, brook

  11. to be fit for or worthy of:

    It doesn't bear repeating.

  12. to carry; bring:

    to bear gifts.

  13. to carry in the mind or heart: to bear malice.

    to bear love;

    to bear malice.

  14. to transmit or spread (gossip, tales, etc.).
  15. to render; afford; give: to bear testimony.

    to bear witness;

    to bear testimony.

  16. to lead; guide; take:

    They bore him home.

  17. to have and be entitled to:

    to bear title.

  18. to bear a resemblance.

  19. to accept or have, as an obligation: to bear the cost.

    to bear responsibility;

    to bear the cost.

  20. to stand in (a relation or ratio); have or show correlatively:

    the relation that price bears to profit.

  21. to possess, as a quality or characteristic; have in or on: to bear an inscription.

    to bear traces;

    to bear an inscription.

  22. to have and use; exercise: to bear sway.

    to bear authority;

    to bear sway.

verb (used without object)

, bore or (Archaic) bare; borne or born; bear·ing.
  1. to tend in a course or direction; move; go: to bear left at the fork in the road.

    to bear west;

    to bear left at the fork in the road.

  2. to be located or situated:

    The lighthouse bears due north.

  3. to bring forth young or fruit:

    Next year the tree will bear.

verb phrase

  1. to be patient or forbearing with:

    Please bear with me until I finish the story.

    1. to press or weigh down on.
    2. to strive toward.
    3. to approach something rapidly.
    4. Nautical. to approach (another vessel) from windward:

      The sloop bore down on us, narrowly missing our stern.

  2. to endure; face hardship bravely:

    It is inspiring to see them bearing up so well.

  3. to substantiate; confirm:

    The facts bear me out.

    1. Nautical. to keep (a boat) from touching or rubbing against a dock, another boat, etc.
    2. Nautical. to steer away.
    3. Backgammon. to remove the stones from the board after they are all home.
  4. to affect, relate to, or have connection with; be relevant to:

    This information may bear on the case.

    1. to press or weigh down.
    2. to strive harder; intensify one's efforts:

      We can't hope to finish unless everyone bears down.

    3. Nautical. to approach from windward, as a ship:

      The cutter was bearing down the channel at twelve knots.



[ bair ]


, plural bears, (especially collectively) bear.
  1. 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.
  2. any of various animals resembling the bear, as the ant bear.
  3. a gruff, burly, clumsy, bad-mannered, or rude person.
  4. a person who believes that market prices, especially of stocks, will decline ( bull ).
  5. Informal. a person who shows great ability, enthusiasm, stamina, etc.:

    a bear for physics.

  6. Bear, Astronomy. either of two constellations, Ursa Major or Ursa Minor.
  7. Informal. a player at cards who rarely bluffs.
  8. Bear. Russia.


  1. having to do with or marked by declining prices, as of stocks:

    bear market.

verb (used with object)

, beared, bear·ing.
  1. Stock Exchange. to force prices down in (a market, stock, etc.).



[ bair ]


  1. Mount Bear, a mountain in southern Alaska, in the Saint Elias Mountains. 14,831 feet (4,520 meters).



/ bɛə /


  1. the English name for Ursa Major Ursa Minor
  2. an informal name for Russia
“Collins English Dictionary — Complete & Unabridged” 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012



/ bɛə /


  1. 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 ursine
  2. any of various bearlike animals, such as the koala and the ant bear
  3. a clumsy, churlish, or ill-mannered person
  4. a teddy bear
  5. stock exchange
    1. a speculator who sells in anticipation of falling prices to make a profit on repurchase
    2. ( as modifier ) Compare bull 1

      a bear market

“Collins English Dictionary — Complete & Unabridged” 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012


  1. tr to lower or attempt to lower the price or prices of (a stock market or a security) by speculative selling
“Collins English Dictionary — Complete & Unabridged” 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012



/ bɛə /


  1. to support or hold up; sustain
  2. to bring or convey

    to bear gifts

  3. to take, accept, or assume the responsibility of

    to bear an expense

  4. past participle bornin passive use except when foll by by to give birth to

    to bear children

  5. also intr to produce by or as if by natural growth

    to bear fruit

  6. to tolerate or endure

    she couldn't bear him

  7. to admit of; sustain

    his story does not bear scrutiny

  8. to hold in the conscious mind or in one's feelings

    to bear a grudge

    I'll bear that idea in mind

  9. to show or be marked with

    he still bears the scars

  10. to transmit or spread

    to bear gossip

  11. to render or supply (esp in the phrase bear witness )
  12. to conduct or manage (oneself, the body, etc)

    she bore her head high

  13. to have, be, or stand in (relation or comparison)

    his account bears no relation to the facts

  14. intr to move, be located, or lie in a specified direction

    the way bears east

  15. to have by right; be entitled to (esp in the phrase bear title )
  16. bear a hand
    to give assistance
  17. bring to bear
    to bring into operation or effect

    he brought his knowledge to bear on the situation

“Collins English Dictionary — Complete & Unabridged” 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Confusables Note

Since the latter part of the 18th century, a distinction has been made between born and borne as past participles of the verb bear1 . Borne is the past participle in all senses that do not refer to physical birth: The wheatfields have borne abundantly this year. Judges have always borne a burden of responsibility. Borne is also the participle when the sense is “to bring forth (young)” and the focus is on the mother rather than on the child. In such cases, borne is preceded by a form of have or followed by by: Anna had borne a son the previous year. Two children borne by her earlier were already grown. When the focus is on the offspring or on something brought forth as if by birth, born is the standard spelling, and it occurs only in passive constructions: My friend was born in Ohio. No children have been born at the South Pole. A strange desire was born of the tragic experience. Born is also an adjective meaning “by birth,” “innate,” or “native”: born free; a born troublemaker; Mexican-born.
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Other Words From

  • bearlike adjective
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Word History and Origins

Origin of bear1

First recorded before 900; Middle English beren, Old English beran; cognate with Old Saxon, Old High German beran, Dutch baren, Old Frisian, Old Norse bera, Gothic bairan, German (ge)bären, Russian berët “(he) takes,” Albanian bie, Tocharian pär-, Phrygian ab-beret “(he) brings,” Latin ferre, Old Irish berid “(he) carries,” Armenian berem, Greek phérein, Sanskrit bhárati, Avestan baraiti; from Indo-European bher- ( -fer, -phore )

Origin of bear2

First recorded before 1000; Middle English bere, beare, beor(e), Old English bera; cognate with Frisian bār, Dutch beer, Old High German bero, German Bär; from Proto-Germanic beran- literally, “the brown one”; akin to Old Norse bjǫrn, bersi; compare Lithuanian bė́ras “brown”; bruin
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Word History and Origins

Origin of bear1

Old English bera ; related to Old Norse bjorn , Old High German bero

Origin of bear2

Old English beran ; related to Old Norse bera , Old High German beran to carry, Latin ferre , Greek pherein to bear, Sanskrit bharati he carries
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Idioms and Phrases

  1. bring to bear, to concentrate on with a specific purpose:

    Pressure was brought to bear on those with overdue accounts.

  2. 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.

  3. bear false witness. bear false witness.
  4. bear witness. bear witness.

More idioms and phrases containing bear

  • bring to bear
  • cross as a bear
  • cross to bear
  • grin and bear it
  • loaded for bear
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Synonym Study

Bear, stand, endure refer to supporting the burden of something distressing, irksome, or painful. Bear and stand are close synonyms and have a general sense of withstanding: to bear a disappointment well; to stand a loss. Endure implies continued resistance and patience in bearing through a long time: to endure torture.
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Example Sentences

While Neumann’s job meant she was involved, Troye was consistently bearing witness not just early in the outbreak, but through its resurgence this summer, when virtually every other First World country had things much more under control.

As wildfires bear down on the West Coast, many have lost their homes or had to evacuate.

Bernstein notes that while further study is required, there is evidence that air pollution affects birth outcomes—babies are more like to be born pre-term or at low birth weights—and development.

From Fortune

Since they’re born in freshwater streams but then migrate to the sea to mature, salmon serve as a link between saltwater and freshwater ecosystems, bringing nutrients from the oceans inland and vice versa.

He was born in Scranton and grew up and still resides in Wilmington, a short drive down Interstate 95 from Philadelphia.

“If Charleston harbor needs improvement, let the commerce of Charleston bear the burden,” he said.

He said,  “I am breaking my heart over this story, and cannot bear to finish it.”

Once again he accused the West of being unfair to Russia, bringing back his favorite metaphor, the Russian bear.

Maybe our dear bear should sit quietly, not chase piglets and just eat berries and honey.

Putin suggested that all the West wanted was to turn the Russian bear into “taxidermy.”

Many British Ferns evidence a marked tendency to “sport,” and this is a fact which the beginner should always bear in mind.

The bear laughed and joined his companion, and the torpedo thundered away.

This may be done by taking the humming tone and bringing to bear upon it a strong pressure of energy.

The left heel followed like lightning, and the right paw also slipped, letting the bear again fall heavily on the ice below.

The bear watched him narrowly with its wicked little eyes, though it did not see fit to cease its paw-licking.


Related Words

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Bear Vs. Bare

What’s the difference between bear and bare?

As a verb, bear commonly means to endure something negative (as in I can’t bear to watch) or to carry, hold up, or support (as in The roof can’t bear that much weight), while as a noun it refers to the big furry animal (like grizzly bears and polar bears). Bare can be an adjective that means uncovered (as in bare feet) or empty or without the usual contents (as in bare cabinets or bare walls), or a verb meaning to reveal or open to view (as in bare your secrets).

Bare is most commonly used as an adjective, usually involving something uncovered or empty.

As a verb, bear is often used in the context of holding or carrying things, including in literal, physical ways (as in bear a load or bear weight) and in figurative ones (as in bear a grudge).

To remember the difference in spelling, remember that bears have ears, and they are able to bear a lot of weight because of how big and strong they are, but they are never bare because they are covered in fur.

Here’s an example of bear and bare used correctly in a sentence.

Example: Why does the bear never wear shoes? Because he prefers bare feet.

Want to learn more? Read the full breakdown of the difference between bear and bare.

Quiz yourself on bear vs. bare!

Should bear or bare be used in the following sentence?

He chose to _____ his soul to her by showing her his poetry.

Definitions and idiom definitions from Unabridged, based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

Idioms from The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.




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