verb (used with object), bore or (Archaic) bare; borne or born; bear·ing.
verb (used without object), bore or (Archaic) bare; borne or born; bear·ing.
- 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.
- 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.
Origin of bear1
British Dictionary definitions for bear down (1 of 4)
verb (intr, adverb; often foll by on or upon)
British Dictionary definitions for bear down (2 of 4)
British Dictionary definitions for bear down (3 of 4)
verb bears, bearing, bore or borne (mainly tr)
Word Origin for bear
British Dictionary definitions for bear down (4 of 4)
noun plural bears or bear
- a speculator who sells in anticipation of falling prices to make a profit on repurchase
- (as modifier)a bear market Compare bull 1 (def. 5)
verb bears, bearing or beared
Word Origin for bear
Idioms and Phrases with bear down (1 of 2)
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]
Idioms and Phrases with bear down (2 of 2)
In addition to the idioms beginning with bear
- bear a grudge
- bear down
- beard the lion
- bear fruit
- bear in mind
- bear one's cross
- bear out
- bear the brunt
- bear up
- bear with
- bring to bear
- cross as a bear
- cross to bear
- grin and bear it
- loaded for bear