See more synonyms for bearing on
  1. the manner in which one conducts or carries oneself, including posture and gestures: a man of dignified bearing.
  2. the act, capability, or period of producing or bringing forth: a tree past bearing.
  3. something that is produced; a crop.
  4. the act of enduring or capacity to endure.
  5. reference or relation (usually followed by on): It has some bearing on the problem.
  6. Architecture.
    1. a supporting part of a structure.
    2. the area of contact between a bearing member, as a beam, and a pier, wall, or other underlying support.
  7. Machinery. the support and guide for a rotating, oscillating, or sliding shaft, pivot, or wheel.
  8. Often bearings. direction or relative position: The pilot radioed his bearings.
  9. Surveying. a horizontal direction expressed in degrees east or west of a true or magnetic north or south direction.
  10. Heraldry. any single device on an escutcheon; charge.

Origin of bearing

First recorded in 1200–50, bearing is from the Middle English word beryng. See bear1, -ing1
Related formsun·bear·ing, adjective

Synonyms for bearing

See more synonyms for on
1. carriage, mien, demeanor, behavior, conduct. See manner1. 5. connection, dependency; application. 8. course, aim. Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for bearings

Contemporary Examples of bearings

Historical Examples of bearings

British Dictionary definitions for bearings


  1. a support, guide, or locating piece for a rotating or reciprocating mechanical part
  2. (foll by on or upon) relevance (to)it has no bearing on this problem
  3. a person's general social conduct, esp in manners, dress, and behaviour
    1. the act, period, or capability of producing fruit or young
    2. an amount produced; yield
  4. the part of a beam or lintel that rests on a support
  5. anything that carries weight or acts as a support
  6. the angular direction of a line, point, or course measured from true north or south (true bearing), magnetic north or south (magnetic bearing), or one's own position
  7. (usually plural) the position or direction, as of a ship, fixed with reference to two or more known points
  8. (usually plural) a sense of one's relative position or situation; orientation (esp in the phrases lose, get, or take one's bearings)
  9. heraldry
    1. a device or emblem on a heraldic shield; charge
    2. another name for coat of arms
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 bearings

"parts of a machine which 'bear' the friction," 1791, from present participle of bear (v.). Meaning "direction from a point of reference" is from 1630s; to take (one's) bearings is from 1711.



"carrying of oneself, deportment," mid-13c., verbal noun from bear (v.). Mechanical sense of "part of a machine that bears the friction" is from 1791.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Idioms and Phrases with bearings


see get one's bearings.

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