See more synonyms for bearer on
  1. a person or thing that carries, upholds, or brings: dozens of bearers on the safari.
  2. the person who presents an order for money or goods: Pay to the bearer.
  3. a tree or plant that yields fruit or flowers.
  4. the holder of rank or office; incumbent.
  5. pallbearer.
  6. (especially in India) a native boy or man employed as a personal or household servant.
  7. Printing.
    1. furniture(def 4).
    2. one of several strips of metal fitted at the sides of a plate for support during inking and proving.
  8. a joistlike member supporting the floorboards of a scaffold.
  9. Furniture. bearing rail.

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. 2018

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


  1. a person or thing that bears, presents, or upholds
  2. a person who presents a note or bill for payment
  3. (formerly, in Africa, India, etc)
    1. a native carrier, esp on an expedition
    2. a native servant
  4. See pallbearer
  5. the holder of a rank, position, office, etc
  6. (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