Origin of bearer

First recorded in 1250–1300, bearer is from the Middle English word berere. See bear1, -er1 Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for bearer

Contemporary Examples of bearer

Historical Examples of bearer

  • The bearer, if suspected and examined, is to produce that as the only one he carries.

    Clarissa, Volume 1 (of 9)

    Samuel Richardson

  • "I am the bearer of bad news, gentlemen," he said, addressing them both.

    The Channings

    Mrs. Henry Wood

  • Some victories are only to be won with arms that hurt the bearer.

    Roden's Corner

    Henry Seton Merriman

  • I immediately determined to follow the bearer of this letter.

  • The bearer of this gift is entitled to claim any boon from Isabella.

    Gomez Arias

    Joaqun Telesforo de Trueba y Coso

British Dictionary definitions for bearer



a person or thing that bears, presents, or upholds
a person who presents a note or bill for payment
(formerly, in Africa, India, etc)
  1. a native carrier, esp on an expedition
  2. a native servant
the holder of a rank, position, office, etc
(modifier) finance payable to the person in possessionbearer bonds
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

Word Origin and History for bearer

Old English -berere (in water-berere), agent noun from bear (v.). Meaning "one who helps carry a corpse to the grave" is from 1630s.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper