• synonyms


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  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.
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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

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

Related Words for bearings

demeanor, manner, relevance, pose, look, presence, aspect, mien, display, carriage, poise, comportment, deportment, set, stand, behavior, address, front, air, port

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
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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 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.

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"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.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Idioms and Phrases with bearings


see get one's bearings.

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