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See more synonyms for bearer on Thesaurus.com
  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.
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Origin of bearer

First recorded in 1250–1300, bearer is from the Middle English word berere. See bear1, -er1
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words for bearer

shipper, emissary, courier, runner, envoy, agent, servant, carrier, messenger, transporter, porter, conveyor, internuncio, beneficiary, collector, consignee, payee, drogher

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
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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.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper