Meaning of BEAR in English


I. bear 1 S2 W2 /beə $ ber/ BrE AmE verb ( past tense bore /bɔː $ bɔːr/, past participle borne /bɔːn $ bɔːrn/) [transitive]

[ Word Family: verb : ↑ bear ; noun : ↑ bearer ; adverb : ↑ bearably ≠ ↑ unbearably ; adjective : ↑ bearable ≠ ↑ unbearable ]

[ Language: Old English ; Origin: beran ]

1 . DEAL WITH SOMETHING to bravely accept or deal with a painful, difficult, or upsetting situation SYN stand :

She was afraid she wouldn’t be able to bear the pain.

Overcrowding makes prison life even harder to bear.

Make the water as hot as you can bear.

The humiliation was more than he could bear.

Black people continue to bear the brunt of most racial violence (=have to deal with the most difficult or damaging part) .

Passengers could be insulting, and stewardesses just had to grin and bear it (=accept it without complaining) .

Experts were worried the financial system would not be able to bear the strain.


In everyday English, people usually say that they can’t stand something, rather than that they can't bear it:

I couldn’t stand the noise any longer.

2 . can’t bear something spoken

a) to be so upset about something that you feel unable to accept it or let it happen SYN can’t stand :

Please don’t leave me. I couldn’t bear it.

can’t bear the thought of (doing) something

I just can’t bear the thought of having to start all over.

can’t bear to do something

I can’t bear to see her cry.

can’t bear doing something

I couldn’t bear not seeing him again.

b) to dislike something or someone very much, often so that they make you feel annoyed or impatient SYN can’t stand :

Oh, I really can’t bear him.

can’t bear somebody doing something

He can’t bear people smoking while he’s eating.

can’t bear doing something

I can’t bear being cold.

3 . bear (something) in mind to remember a fact or piece of information that is important or could be useful in the future SYN keep (something) in mind

bear in mind (that)

Bear in mind that some children will need help.

4 . ACCEPT/BE RESPONSIBLE FOR formal to be responsible for or accept something

bear the costs/burden

Each company will bear half the costs of development.

Fares have gone up, perhaps to more than the market will bear.

bear the responsibility/blame etc

Developed countries bear much of the responsibility for environmental problems.

5 . SUPPORT to be under something and support it SYN hold :

My leg was painful, and I wasn’t sure it would bear my weight.

a tray bearing a bottle and several glasses

a load-bearing wall

6 . SIGN/MARK formal to have or show a sign, mark, or particular appearance, especially when this shows that something has happened or is true SYN have :

The letter bore no signature.

a car bearing diplomatic license plates

The labels bear a yellow and black symbol.

The town still bears the scars of the bombings during the war.

The store bears the hallmarks (=it has the qualities) of a family-owned business.

7 . bear a resemblance/relation to somebody/something to be similar to someone or something else:

The child bore a striking resemblance to his father.

The things she says bear little relation to what she actually does.

8 . BABY formal to give birth to a baby:

She might never be able to bear children.

bear somebody a child/son/daughter

She bore him three sons.

9 . bear fruit

a) if a plan, decision etc bears fruit, it is successful, especially after a long period of time:

Charles’s diplomacy eventually bore fruit.

b) if a tree bears fruit, it produces fruit

10 . ABLE TO BE EXAMINED/COMPARED ETC [often in negatives] to be suitable or good enough to be examined, compared, repeated etc without failing or being wrong:

The production figures did not bear scrutiny.

We believe our pupils’ results will bear comparison with any in Scotland.

The story is well known, but it certainly bears repeating.

11 . something doesn’t bear thinking about used to say that something is so upsetting or shocking that you prefer not to think about it:

The long-term consequences of a nuclear leak don’t bear thinking about.

12 . bear interest if a bank account, ↑ investment etc bears interest, the bank pays you a particular amount of money for keeping your money in the account

13 . CARRY literary to carry someone or something, especially something important:

The wedding guests arrived, bearing gifts.

The US Constitution states that the people have a right to bear arms.

14 . bring pressure/influence to bear (on somebody/something) to use your influence or power to get what you want:

Unions can bring pressure to bear on governments.

15 . bear witness/testimony to something formal to show that something is true or exists:

The empty workshops bear witness to the industrial past.

16 . HAVE FEELINGS formal to have a particular feeling, especially a bad feeling

bear (somebody) a grudge (=continue to feel annoyed after a long time)

It was an accident. I don’t bear any grudges.

bear somebody no malice/ill will etc (=not feel angry)

He was just doing his job, and I bore him no malice.

17 . bear right/left to turn towards the right or left:

When you reach the fork in the trail, bear left.

18 . bear yourself formal to walk, stand etc in a particular way, especially when this shows your character:

She bore herself with great dignity.

19 . WIND/WATER literary if wind, water, or air bears something, it carries it somewhere:

The sound of music was borne along on the wind.

20 . NAME/TITLE formal to have a particular name or title:

He bore the name ‘Magnus’.

• • •


■ bear + NOUN

▪ bear the pain

He knew that he couldn’t bear the pain much longer.

▪ bear the heat/cold

Some people find it hard to bear the heat in the summer.

▪ bear the strain/pressure

Mark couldn’t bear the pressure of the job any longer.

■ phrases

▪ can hardly bear something (=find something very difficult or upsetting to do)

He was so ashamed that he could hardly bear to look at her.

▪ be unable to bear something

Fiona was unable to bear the thought of selling the house.

▪ be hard to bear

The situation was very hard to bear.

▪ be more than somebody can bear

He sometimes felt the grief was more than he could bear.

▪ bear the brunt of something (=be in the worst position and have to deal with it)

Shareholders will bear the brunt of the company’s financial troubles.

▪ grin and bear it (=accept it without complaining)

It was a horrible job but she had to grin and bear it.

bear down phrasal verb

1 . bear down on somebody/something

a) to move quickly towards a person or place in a threatening way:

a storm bearing down on the island

b) to behave in a threatening or controlling way towards a person or group:

Federal regulators have been bearing down on campaign contributors.

2 . to use all your strength and effort to push or press down on something

bear on/upon something phrasal verb formal

to relate to and possibly influence something:

the national policies which bear on these problems

bear somebody/sth↔ out phrasal verb

if facts or information bear out a claim, story, opinion etc, they help to prove that it is true SYN support :

Evidence bears out the idea that students learn best in small groups.

bear up phrasal verb

to show courage or determination during a difficult or unpleasant time:

How is he bearing up since the accident?

bear with somebody/something phrasal verb

1 . bear with me spoken used to ask someone politely to wait while you find out information, finish what you are doing etc:

Bear with me a minute, and I’ll check if Mr Garrard’s in.

2 . to be patient or continue to do something difficult or unpleasant:

It’s boring, but please bear with it.

II. bear 2 BrE AmE noun [countable]

[ Language: Old English ; Origin: bera ]

1 . a large strong animal with thick fur, that eats flesh, fruit, and insects:

a mother bear and her cubs

⇨ ↑ grizzly bear , ↑ polar bear , ↑ teddy bear

2 . American English informal something that is very difficult to do or to deal with:

The chemistry test was a bear.

3 . be like a bear with a sore head British English informal to be rude to people because you are feeling bad-tempered

4 . technical someone who sells ↑ share s or goods when they expect the price to fall ⇨ bull

Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English.      Longman - Словарь современного английского языка.