see also: Bear
  • (RP) IPA: /bɛə(ɹ)/, /bɛː(ɹ)/, enPR: bâr
  • (GA) IPA: /bɛəɹ/, enPR: bâr
  • (Southern US, colloquial) IPA: /bɑɹ/

bear (plural bears)

  1. A large omnivorous mammal, related to the dog and raccoon, having shaggy hair, a very small tail, and flat feet; a member of family Ursidae.
  2. (figuratively) A rough, unmannerly, uncouth person. [1579]
  3. (finance) An investor who sells commodities, securities or futures in anticipation of a fall in prices. [1744]
    Antonyms: bull
  4. (slang, US) A state policeman (short for smokey bear). [1970s]
    • 1976 June, CB Magazine, Communications Publication Corporation, Oklahoma City, June 40/3:
      ‘The bear's pulling somebody off there at 74,’ reported someone else.
  5. (slang) A large, hairy man, especially one who is homosexual. [1990]
    • 1990, "Bears, gay men subculture materials" (publication title, Human Sexuality Collection, Collection Level Periodical Record):
    • 2004, Richard Goldstein, Why I'm Not a Bear, in The Advocate, number 913, 27 April 2004, page 72:
      I have everything it takes to be a bear: broad shoulders, full beard, semibald pate, and lots of body hair. But I don't want to be a fetish.
    • 2006, Simon LeVay, Sharon McBride Valente, Human sexuality:
      There are numerous social organizations for bears in most parts of the United States. Lesbians don't have such prominent sexual subcultures as gay men, although, as just mentioned, some lesbians are into BDSM practices.
    Antonyms: twink
  6. (engineering) A portable punching machine.
  7. (nautical) A block covered with coarse matting, used to scour the deck.
  8. (cartomancy) The fifteenth Lenormand card.
  9. (colloquial, US) Something difficult or tiresome; a burden or chore.
    That window can be a bear to open.
Synonyms Verb

bear (bears, present participle bearing; past and past participle beared)

  1. (finance, transitive) To endeavour to depress the price of, or prices in.
    to bear a railroad stock
    to bear the market

bear (not comparable)

  1. (finance, investments) Characterized by declining prices in securities markets or by belief that the prices will fall.
    The great bear market starting in 1929 scared a whole generation of investors.

bear (bears, present participle bearing; past bore, past participle borne)

  1. (chiefly transitive) To carry or convey, literally or figuratively.
    They came bearing gifts.
    Judging from the look on his face, he wasn't bearing good news.
    The little boat bore us to our destination.
    This plant's light and fluffy seeds may be borne by the wind to remote islands.
    • 1610–1611, William Shakespeare, “The Tempest”, in Mr. William Shakespeares Comedies, Histories, & Tragedies: Published According to the True Originall Copies (First Folio), London: Printed by Isaac Iaggard, and Ed[ward] Blount, published 1623, OCLC 606515358 ↗, [Act III, scene i]:
      I'll bear your logs the while.
    1. (transitive, of weapons, flags or symbols of rank, office, etc.) To carry upon one's person, especially visibly; to be equipped with.
      the right to bear arms
    2. (transitive, of garments, pieces of jewellery, etc.) To wear.
    3. (transitive, rarely intransitive, of a woman or female animal) To carry (offspring in the womb), to be pregnant (with).
      The scan showed that the ewe was bearing twins.
    4. (transitive) To have or display (a mark or other feature).
      She still bears the scars from a cycling accident.
      The stone bears a short inscription.
      This bears all the hallmarks of a terrorist attack.
      • 1859, Charles Darwin, Origin of Species iv. 88:
        Male stag-beetles often bear wounds from the huge mandibles of other males.
    5. (transitive) To display (a particular heraldic device) on a shield or coat of arms; to be entitled to wear or use (a heraldic device) as a coat of arms. [1400]
      The shield bore a red cross.
    6. (transitive) To present or exhibit (a particular outward appearance); to have (a certain look). [1200]
      He bore the look of a defeated man.
      • 1930, Essex Chronicle 18 April 9/5:
        The body was unclothed, and bore the appearance of being washed up by the sea.
    7. (transitive) To have (a name, title, or designation). [1225]
      The school still bears the name of its founder.
      • 2005, Lesley Brown, translator, Plato, Sophist. 234b:
        […] imitations that bear the same name as the things […]
      • 2013, D. Goldberg, Universe in Rearview Mirror iii. 99:
        Heinrich Olbers described the paradox that bears his name in 1823.
    8. (transitive) To possess or enjoy (recognition, renown, a reputation, etc.); to have (a particular price, value, or worth). [1393]
      The dictator bears a terrible reputation for cruelty.
    9. (transitive, of an investment, loan, etc.) To have (interest or a specified rate of interest) stipulated in its terms. [1686]
      The bond bears a fixed interest rate of 3.5%.
    10. (transitive, of a person or animal) To have (an appendage, organ, etc.) as part of the body; (of a part of the body) to have (an appendage).
      Only the male Indian elephant bears tusks.
    11. (transitive) To carry or hold in the mind; to experience, entertain, harbour (an idea, feeling, or emotion).
      to bear a grudge, to bear ill will
      • c. 1596–1598, William Shakespeare, “The Merchant of Venice”, in Mr. William Shakespeares Comedies, Histories, & Tragedies: Published According to the True Originall Copies (First Folio), London: Printed by Isaac Iaggard, and Ed[ward] Blount, published 1623, OCLC 606515358 ↗, [Act I, scene iii]:
        the ancient grudge I bear him
    12. (transitive, rare) To feel and show (respect, reverence, loyalty, etc.) to, towards, or unto a person or thing.
      The brothers had always borne one another respect.
    13. (transitive) To possess inherently (a quality, attribute, power, or capacity); to have and display as an essential characteristic.
      to bear life
    14. (transitive, of a thing) To have (a relation, correspondence, etc.) to something else. [1556]
      The punishment bears no relation to the crime.
    15. (transitive) To give (written or oral testimony or evidence); (figurative) to provide or constitute (evidence or proof), give witness.
      His achievements bear testimony to his ability.
      The jury could see he was bearing false witness.
    16. (transitive) To have (a certain meaning, intent, or effect).
      This word no longer bears its original meaning.
      • Her sentence bore that she should stand a certain time upon the platform.
    17. (reflexive, transitive) To behave or conduct (oneself).
      She bore herself well throughout the ordeal.
      • c. 1595–1596, William Shakespeare, “Loues Labour’s Lost”, in Mr. William Shakespeares Comedies, Histories, & Tragedies: Published According to the True Originall Copies (First Folio), London: Printed by Isaac Iaggard, and Ed[ward] Blount, published 1623, OCLC 606515358 ↗, [Act V, scene ii]:
        Thus must thou thy body bear.
      • c. 1603–1604, William Shakespeare, “Measvre for Measure”, in Mr. William Shakespeares Comedies, Histories, & Tragedies: Published According to the True Originall Copies (First Folio), London: Printed by Isaac Iaggard, and Ed[ward] Blount, published 1623, OCLC 606515358 ↗, [Act IV, scene ii]:
        Hath he borne himself penitently in prison?
    18. (transitive, rare) To possess and use, to exercise (power or influence); to hold (an office, rank, or position).
      • 1611, The Holy Bible, […] (King James Version), imprinted at London: By Robert Barker, […], OCLC 964384981 ↗, Esther 1:22 ↗:
        Every man should bear rule in his own house.
    19. (intransitive, obsolete) To carry a burden or burdens. [1450]
    20. (transitive, obsolete, rare) To take or bring (a person) with oneself; to conduct. [1590]
      • c. 1594, William Shakespeare, “The Comedie of Errors”, in Mr. William Shakespeares Comedies, Histories, & Tragedies: Published According to the True Originall Copies (First Folio), London: Printed by Isaac Iaggard, and Ed[ward] Blount, published 1623, OCLC 606515358 ↗, [Act V, scene i]:
        Bear them to my house.
  2. To support, sustain, or endure.
    1. (transitive) To support or sustain; to hold up.
      This stone bears most of the weight.
    2. (now transitive outside certain set patterns such as 'bear with'; formerly also intransitive) To endure or withstand (hardship, scrutiny, etc.); to tolerate; to be patient (with).
      The pain is too much for me to bear.
      I would never move to Texas — I can't bear heat.
      This reasoning will not bear much analysis.
      Please bear with me as I try to find the book you need.
      • 1700, John Dryden, "Meleager and Atalanta", in: The poetical works, vol. 4, William Pickering, 1852, p. 169 ↗:
        I cannot, cannot bear; ’tis past , ’tis done; / Perish this impious , this detested son; […]
      • 1715, Homer; [Alexander] Pope, transl., “Book XXIV”, in The Iliad of Homer, volume I, London: Printed by W[illiam] Bowyer, for Bernard Lintott between the Temple-Gates, OCLC 670734254 ↗:
        Man is born to bear.
    3. (transitive) To sustain, or be answerable for (blame, expense, responsibility, etc.).
      The hirer must bear the cost of any repairs.
      • 1611, The Holy Bible, […] (King James Version), imprinted at London: By Robert Barker, […], OCLC 964384981 ↗, Isaiah 53:11 ↗:
        He shall bear their iniquities.
      • 1753, John Dryden, ''The Spanish Friar: or, the Double Discovery, Tonson and Draper, p. 64 ↗:
        What have you gotten there under your arm, Daughter? somewhat, I hope, that will bear your Charges in your Pilgrimage.
    4. (transitive) To admit or be capable of (a meaning); to suffer or sustain without violence, injury, or change.
      • :
        In all criminal cases the most favourable interpretation should be put on words that they can possibly bear.
    5. (transitive) To warrant, justify the need for.
      This storm definitely bears monitoring.
  3. To support, keep up, or maintain.
    1. (transitive) To afford, to be something to someone, to supply with something.
      • 1732–4, Alexander Pope, An Essay on Man, Longmans, Green & Co, 1879, [ p. 10]:
        […] admitted to that equal sky, / His faithful dog shall bear him company.
    2. (transitive) To carry on, or maintain; to have.
      • 1693, John Locke, Some Thoughts Concerning Education, § 98:
        […] and he finds the Pleasure, and Credit of bearing a Part in the Conversation, and of having his Reasons sometimes approved and hearken'd to.
  4. To press or impinge upon.
    1. (intransitive, usually with on, upon, or against) To push, thrust, press.
      The rope has frayed where it bears on the rim of the wheel.
      • These men therefore bear hard upon the suspected party.
    2. (intransitive, figuratively) To take effect; to have influence or force; to be relevant.
      to bring arguments to bear
      How does this bear on the question?
    3. (intransitive, military, usually with on or upon) Of a weapon, to be aimed at an enemy or other target.
      The cannons were wheeled around to bear upon the advancing troops.
      • 2012, Ronald D. Utt, Ships of Oak, Guns of Iron
        Constitution's gun crews crossed the deck to the already loaded larboard guns as Bainbridge wore the ship around on a larboard tack and recrossed his path in a rare double raking action to bring her guns to bear again on Java's damaged stern.
  5. To produce, yield, give birth to.
    1. (transitive) To give birth to (someone or something) (may take the father of the direct object as an indirect object).
      In Troy she becomes Paris’ wife, bearing him several children, all of whom die in infancy.
    2. (transitive, less commonly intransitive) To produce or yield something, such as fruit or crops.
      This year our apple trees bore a good crop of fruit.
      • Betwixt two seasons comes th' auspicious air, / This age to blossom, and the next to bear.
  6. (intransitive, originally nautical) To be, or head, in a specific direction or azimuth (from somewhere).
    Carry on past the church and then bear left at the junction.
    By my readings, we're bearing due south, so we should turn about ten degrees east.
    Great Falls bears north of Bozeman.
  7. (transitive, obsolete) To gain or win.
    • 1612, Francis Bacon, Of Seeming Wise
      Some think to bear it by speaking a great word.
    • She was […] found not guilty, through bearing of friends and bribing of the judge.
Synonyms Translations Translations Translations Translations Translations Translations Translations Translations
  • German: liegen
  • Russian: направля́ться

bear (uncountable)

  1. Alternative spelling of bere.
    • 1800, Tuke, Agric., 119:
      There are several plots of those species of barley called big, which is six-rowed barley; or bear, which is four-rowed, cultivated.
    • 1818, Marshall, Reports Agric., I. 191:
      Bigg or bear, with four grains on the ear, was the kind of barley.
    • 1895, Dixon, Whittingham Vale, 130:
      Two stacks of beare, of xx boules,
    • 1908, Burns Chronicle and Club Directory, page 151:
      […] one wheat stack, one half-stack of corn, and a little hay, all standing in the barnyard; four stacks of bear in the barn, about three bolls of bear lying on the barn floor, two stacks of corn in the barn, […]
    • some earlier publication, published in 1972, Scottish History Society, Publications:
      Your Horses are Getting Pease Straw, and looking very well. The 2 Stacks of Bear formerly mentioned as Put in by Mr Bookless is not fully dressed as yet so that I cannot say at present what Quantity they may Produce .

bear (uncountable)

  1. (obsolete) A pillowcase; a fabric case or covering as for a pillow.
    • 1742, William Ellis, The London and Country Brewer [...] Fourth Edition, page 36:
      And, according to this, one of my Neighbours made a Bag, like a Pillow-bear, of the ordinary six-penny yard Cloth, and boiled his Hops in it half an Hour; then he took them out, and put in another Bag of the like Quantity of fresh Hops, […]
    • 1850, Samuel Tymms, Wills and Inventories from the Registers of the Commissary of Bury St. Edmunds and the Archdeacon of Sudbury, page 116:
      ij payer of schete, ij pelows wt the berys,
    • 1858, Journal of the Statistical Society of London, page 409:
      1641.—14 yards of femble cloth, 12s. ; 8 yards of linen, 6s. 8d. ; 20 yards of harden, 10s. ; 5 linen sheets, 1l. ; 7 linen pillow bears, 8s. ; 2 femble sheets and a line hard sheet, 10s. ; 3 linen towels, 4s. ; 6 lin curtains and a vallance, 12s. ; […]
    • 1905, Emily Wilder Leavitt, Palmer Groups: John Melvin of Charlestown and Concord, Mass. and His Descendants ; Gathered and Arranged for Mr. Lowell Mason Palmer of New York, page 24:
      I give to my Grand Child Lidea Carpenter the Coverlid that her mother spun and my pillow bear and a pint Cup & my great Pott that belongs to the Pott and Trammels.
    • 1941, Minnie Hite Moody, Long Meadows, page 71:
      […] a man's eyes played him false, sitting him before tables proper with damask and pewter, leading him to fall into beds gracious with small and large feather beds for softness and pillowed luxuriously under pretty checked linen pillow bears.

Proper noun
  1. Surname

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