[ bair ]
/ bɛər /
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verb (used with object), bore or (Archaic) bare; borne or born; bear·ing.
to hold up; support: to bear the weight of the roof.
to hold or remain firm under (a load): The roof will not bear the strain of his weight.
to bring forth (young); give birth to: to bear a child.
to produce by natural growth: a tree that bears fruit.
to hold up under; be capable of: His claim doesn't bear close examination.
to press or push against: The crowd was borne back by the police.
to hold or carry (oneself, one's body, one's head, etc.): to bear oneself erectly.
to conduct (oneself): to bear oneself bravely.
to sustain without yielding or suffering injury; tolerate (usually used in negative constructions, unless qualified): I can't bear your nagging. I can hardly bear to see her suffering so.
to be fit for or worthy of: It doesn't bear repeating.
to carry; bring: to bear gifts.
to carry in the mind or heart: to bear love;to bear malice.
to transmit or spread (gossip, tales, etc.).
to lead; guide; take: They bore him home.
to have and be entitled to: to bear title.
to accept or have, as an obligation: to bear responsibility;to bear the cost.
to stand in (a relation or ratio); have or show correlatively: the relation that price bears to profit.
to possess, as a quality or characteristic; have in or on: to bear traces;to bear an inscription.
to have and use; exercise: to bear authority;to bear sway.
verb (used without object), bore or (Archaic) bare; borne or born; bear·ing.
to tend in a course or direction; move; go: to bear west;to bear left at the fork in the road.
to be located or situated: The lighthouse bears due north.
to bring forth young or fruit: Next year the tree will bear.
- to press or weigh down.
- to strive harder; intensify one's efforts: We can't hope to finish unless everyone bears down.
- Nautical. to approach from windward, as a ship: The cutter was bearing down the channel at twelve knots.
bear down on / upon
- to press or weigh down on.
- to strive toward.
- to approach something rapidly.
- Nautical. to approach (another vessel) from windward: The sloop bore down on us, narrowly missing our stern.
- Nautical. to keep (a boat) from touching or rubbing against a dock, another boat, etc.
- Nautical. to steer away.
- Backgammon. to remove the stones from the board after they are all home.
bear on / upon to affect, relate to, or have connection with; be relevant to: This information may bear on the case.
bear out, to substantiate; confirm: The facts bear me out.
bear up, to endure; face hardship bravely: It is inspiring to see them bearing up so well.
bear with, to be patient or forbearing with: Please bear with me until I finish the story.
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Idioms about bear
bear false witness. See entry at bear false witness.
bear witness. See entry at bear witness.
bring to bear, to concentrate on with a specific purpose: Pressure was brought to bear on those with overdue accounts.
Origin of bear1
First recorded before 900; Middle English beren, Old English beran; cognate with Old Saxon, Old High German beran, Dutch baren, Old Frisian, Old Norse bera, Gothic bairan, German (ge)bären, Russian berët “(he) takes,” Albanian bie, Tocharian pär-, Phrygian ab-beret “(he) brings,” Latin ferre, Old Irish berid “(he) carries,” Armenian berem, Greek phérein, Sanskrit bhárati, Avestan baraiti; from Indo-European bher- (see -fer, -phore)
synonym study for bear
10. Bear, stand, endure refer to supporting the burden of something distressing, irksome, or painful. Bear and stand are close synonyms and have a general sense of withstanding: to bear a disappointment well; to stand a loss. Endure implies continued resistance and patience in bearing through a long time: to endure torture.
words often confused with bear
Since the latter part of the 18th century, a distinction has been made between born and borne as past participles of the verb bear1 . Borne is the past participle in all senses that do not refer to physical birth: The wheatfields have borne abundantly this year. Judges have always borne a burden of responsibility. Borne is also the participle when the sense is “to bring forth (young)” and the focus is on the mother rather than on the child. In such cases, borne is preceded by a form of have or followed by by: Anna had borne a son the previous year. Two children borne by her earlier were already grown. When the focus is on the offspring or on something brought forth as if by birth, born is the standard spelling, and it occurs only in passive constructions: My friend was born in Ohio. No children have been born at the South Pole. A strange desire was born of the tragic experience. Born is also an adjective meaning “by birth,” “innate,” or “native”: born free; a born troublemaker; Mexican-born.
Other definitions for bear (2 of 3)
[ bair ]
/ bɛər /
noun, plural bears, (especially collectively) bear.
any of the plantigrade, carnivorous or omnivorous mammals of the family Ursidae, having massive bodies, coarse heavy fur, relatively short limbs, and almost rudimentary tails.
any of various animals resembling the bear, as the ant bear.
a gruff, burly, clumsy, bad-mannered, or rude person.
a person who believes that market prices, especially of stocks, will decline (opposed to bull).
Informal. a person who shows great ability, enthusiasm, stamina, etc.: a bear for physics.
Bear, Astronomy. either of two constellations, Ursa Major or Ursa Minor.
Informal. a player at cards who rarely bluffs.
having to do with or marked by declining prices, as of stocks: bear market.
verb (used with object), beared, bear·ing.
Stock Exchange. to force prices down in (a market, stock, etc.).
Origin of bear2
First recorded before 1000; Middle English bere, beare, beor(e), Old English bera; cognate with Frisian bār, Dutch beer, Old High German bero, German Bär; from Proto-Germanic beran- literally, “the brown one”; akin to Old Norse bjǫrn, bersi; compare Lithuanian bė́ras “brown”; cf. bruin
OTHER WORDS FROM bearbearlike, adjective
Other definitions for bear (3 of 3)
[ bair ]
/ bɛər /
Mount Bear, a mountain in southern Alaska, in the Saint Elias Mountains. 14,831 feet (4,520 meters).
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023
How to use bear in a sentence
A bearlike man with a big voice, he could be intimidating to his enemies (“adversaries” seems too neutral a word).Andrew Breitbart Dies at 43: Why He’ll Be Missed|Lloyd Grove|March 1, 2012|DAILY BEAST
"Throw down," it repeated, with a growl as bearlike as the body.The Devil's Asteroid|Manly Wade Wellman
Awkwardly and with the bearlike roughness of excessive timidity I put my arms about her, drew her to me tentatively.Tramping on Life|Harry Kemp
Jane uttered a whoop and embraced the girl in a bearlike hug.The Meadow-Brook Girls Across Country|Janet Aldridge
McTeague put aside her hands with a single gesture, and gripped her to him in a bearlike embrace that all but smothered her.McTeague|Frank Norris
The Indian looked hastily around him without releasing the bearlike hug.The Fiery Totem|Argyll Saxby
British Dictionary definitions for bear (1 of 3)
/ (bɛə) /
verb bears, bearing, bore or borne (mainly tr)
to support or hold up; sustain
to bring or conveyto bear gifts
to take, accept, or assume the responsibility ofto bear an expense
(past participle born in passive use except when foll by by) to give birth toto bear children
(also intr) to produce by or as if by natural growthto bear fruit
to tolerate or endureshe couldn't bear him
to admit of; sustainhis story does not bear scrutiny
to hold in the conscious mind or in one's feelingsto bear a grudge; I'll bear that idea in mind
to show or be marked withhe still bears the scars
to transmit or spreadto bear gossip
to render or supply (esp in the phrase bear witness)
to conduct or manage (oneself, the body, etc)she bore her head high
to have, be, or stand in (relation or comparison)his account bears no relation to the facts
(intr) to move, be located, or lie in a specified directionthe way bears east
to have by right; be entitled to (esp in the phrase bear title)
bear a hand to give assistance
bring to bear to bring into operation or effecthe brought his knowledge to bear on the situation
Word Origin for bear
Old English beran; related to Old Norse bera, Old High German beran to carry, Latin ferre, Greek pherein to bear, Sanskrit bharati he carries
British Dictionary definitions for bear (2 of 3)
/ (bɛə) /
noun plural bears or bear
any plantigrade mammal of the family Ursidae : order Carnivora (carnivores). Bears are typically massive omnivorous animals with a large head, a long shaggy coat, and strong clawsSee also black bear, brown bear, polar bear Related adjective: ursine
any of various bearlike animals, such as the koala and the ant bear
a clumsy, churlish, or ill-mannered person
a teddy bear
- a speculator who sells in anticipation of falling prices to make a profit on repurchase
- (as modifier)a bear market Compare bull 1 (def. 5)
verb bears, bearing or beared
(tr) to lower or attempt to lower the price or prices of (a stock market or a security) by speculative selling
Word Origin for bear
Old English bera; related to Old Norse bjorn, Old High German bero
British Dictionary definitions for bear (3 of 3)
/ (bɛə) /
noun the Bear
the English name for Ursa Major, Ursa Minor
an informal name for Russia
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
Other Idioms and Phrases with bear
In addition to the idioms beginning with bear
- bear a grudge
- bear down
- beard the lion
- bear fruit
- bear in mind
- bear one's cross
- bear out
- bear the brunt
- bear up
- bear with
- bring to bear
- cross as a bear
- cross to bear
- grin and bear it
- loaded for bear
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.