What does bear mean?

Definitions for bear

This dictionary definitions page includes all the possible meanings, example usage and translations of the word bear.

Princeton's WordNet

  1. bearnoun

    massive plantigrade carnivorous or omnivorous mammals with long shaggy coats and strong claws

  2. bearverb

    an investor with a pessimistic market outlook; an investor who expects prices to fall and so sells now in order to buy later at a lower price

  3. bearverb


    "bear a resemblance"; "bear a signature"

  4. give birth, deliver, bear, birth, haveverb

    cause to be born

    "My wife had twins yesterday!"

  5. digest, endure, stick out, stomach, bear, stand, tolerate, support, brook, abide, suffer, put upverb

    put up with something or somebody unpleasant

    "I cannot bear his constant criticism"; "The new secretary had to endure a lot of unprofessional remarks"; "he learned to tolerate the heat"; "She stuck out two years in a miserable marriage"

  6. bearverb

    move while holding up or supporting

    "Bear gifts"; "bear a heavy load"; "bear news"; "bearing orders"

  7. bear, turn outverb

    bring forth, "The apple tree bore delicious apples this year"

    "The unidentified plant bore gorgeous flowers"

  8. bear, take over, accept, assumeverb

    take on as one's own the expenses or debts of another person

    "I'll accept the charges"; "She agreed to bear the responsibility"

  9. hold, bear, carry, containverb

    contain or hold; have within

    "The jar carries wine"; "The canteen holds fresh water"; "This can contains water"

  10. yield, pay, bearverb

    bring in

    "interest-bearing accounts"; "How much does this savings certificate pay annually?"

  11. wear, bearverb

    have on one's person

    "He wore a red ribbon"; "bear a scar"

  12. behave, acquit, bear, deport, conduct, comport, carryverb

    behave in a certain manner

    "She carried herself well"; "he bore himself with dignity"; "They conducted themselves well during these difficult times"

  13. bear, holdverb

    have rightfully; of rights, titles, and offices

    "She bears the title of Duchess"; "He held the governorship for almost a decade"

  14. hold, carry, bearverb

    support or hold in a certain manner

    "She holds her head high"; "He carried himself upright"

  15. have a bun in the oven, bear, carry, gestate, expectverb

    be pregnant with

    "She is bearing his child"; "The are expecting another child in January"; "I am carrying his child"

Samuel Johnson's Dictionary

  1. BEARnoun

    Etymology: bera, Saxon.

    Every part of the body of these animals is covered with thick shaggy hair, of a dark brown colour, and their claws are hooked, which they use in climbing trees. They feed upon fruits, honey, bees, and flesh. Some have falsely reported, that bears bring their young into the world shapeless, and that their dams lick them into form. The dams go no longer than thirty days, and generally produce five young ones. In the winter, they lie hid and asleep, the male forty days, and the female four months; and so soundly for the first fourteen days, that blows will not wake them. In the sleepy season, they are said to have no nourishment but from licking their feet; for it is certain they eat nothing, and, at the end of it, the males are very fat. This animal has naturally an hideous look, but when enraged it is terrible; and, as rough and stupid as it seems to be, it is capable of discipline; it leaps, dances, and plays a thousand little tricks at the sound of a trumpet. The flesh of bears was much esteemed by the ancients. They abound in Poland, Muscovy, Lithuania, and the great forests in Germany; and also in the remote northern countries, where the species is white. Augustin Calmet.

    Call hither to the stake my two brave bears,
    Bid Salisbury and Warwick come to me. ——
    —— Are these thy bears? we’ll bait thy bears to death,
    And manacle the bearward in their chains. William Shakespeare, Henry VI.

    Thou’dst shun a bear;
    But if thy flight lay tow’rd the roaring sea,
    Thou’dst meet the bear i’ th’ mouth. William Shakespeare, King Lear.

    E’en then when Troy was by the Greeks o’erthrown,
    The bear oppos’d to bright Orion shone. Thomas Creech.

  2. To BEARverb

    pret. I bore, or bare; part. pass. bore, or born.

    Etymology: beoran, beran , Sax. bairan, Gothick.

    We say to bear a burden, to bear sorrow or reproach, to bear a name, to bear a grudge, to bear fruit, or to bear children. The word bear is used in very different senses. Isaac Watts, Logick.

    They bear him upon the shoulder; they carry him and set him in his place. Isaiah, xlvi. 7.

    And Solomon had threescore and ten thousand that bare burdens. 1 Kings, v. 15.

    As an eagle stirreth up her nest, fluttereth over her young, spreadeth abroad her wings, taketh them, beareth them on her wings. Deuteronomy, xxxii. 11.

    We see some, who, we think, have born less of the burden, rewarded above ourselves. Decay of Piety.

    My message to the ghost of Priam bear;
    Tell him a new Achilles sent thee there. John Dryden, Æneid.

    A guest like him, a Trojan guest before,
    In shew of friendship, sought the Spartan shore,
    And ravish’d Helen from her husband bore. Dryd.

    I do commit into your hand
    Th’ unstained sword that you have us’d to bear. William Shakespeare, Henry IV. p. ii.

    He may not bear so fair and so noble an image of the divine glory, as the universe in its full system. Matthew Hale, Orig. of Mank.

    His pious brother, sure the best
    Who ever bore that name. Dryden.

    The sad spectators stiffen’d with their fears,
    She sees, and sudden every limb she smears;
    Then each of savage beasts the figure bears. Samuel Garth.

    His supreme spirit or mind will bear its best resemblance, when it represents the supreme infinite. George Cheyne, Phil. Prin.

    Look like the time; bear welcome in your eye,
    Your hand, your tongue; look like the innocent flower,
    But be the serpent under’t. William Shakespeare, King Lear.

    He was a thief, and had the bag, and bare what was put therein. John, xii. 6.

    Under colour of rooting out popery, the most effectual means to bear up the state of religion may be removed, and so a way be made either for paganism, or for extreme barbarism to enter. Richard Hooker, b. iv. § 1.

    And Samson took hold of the two middle pillars, upon which the house stood, and on which it was born up. Judges, xvi. 29.

    A religious hope does not only bear up the mind under her sufferings, but makes her rejoice in them. Joseph Addison, Spectat.

    Some power invisible supports his soul,
    And bears it up in all its wonted greatness. Joseph Addison, Cato.

    The waters encreased, and bare up the ark, and it was lifted up above the earth. Genesis, vii. 17.

    Animals that use a great deal of labour and exercise, have their solid parts more elastick and strong; they can bear, and ought to have stronger food. John Arbuthnot, on Aliments.

    How did the open multitude reveal
    The wond’rous love they bear him under hand! Samuel Daniel, Civil War.

    They bare great faith and obedience to the kings. Francis Bacon.

    Darah, the eldest bears a generous mind,
    But to implacable revenge inclin’d. John Dryden, Aurengz.

    The coward bore the man immortal spite. John Dryden, Ovid.

    As for this gentleman, who is fond of her, she beareth him an invincible hatred. Jonathan Swift.

    That inviolable love I bear to the land of my nativity, prevailed upon me to engage in so bold an attempt. Jonathan Swift.

    It was not an enemy that reproached me, then I could have born it. Psalm liv. 12.

    I have born chastisements, I will not offend any more. Job, xxxiv. 31.

    That which was torn of beasts, I brought not unto thee, I bare the loss of it; of my hand didst thou require it. Genesis, xxxi. 39.

    Not the gods, nor angry Jove will bear
    Thy lawless wand’ring walks in upper air. John Dryden, Æneid.

    To reject all orders of the church which men have established, is to think worse of the laws of men in this respect, than either the judgment of wise men alloweth, or the law of God itself will bear. Richard Hooker, b. iii.

    Being the son of one earl of Pembroke, and younger brother to another, who liberally supplied his expence, beyond what his annuity from his father would bear. Edward Hyde.

    Give his thought either the same turn, if our tongue will bear it, or, if not, vary but the dress. Dryden.

    Do not charge your coins with more uses than they can bear. It is the method of such as love any science, to discover all others in it. Joseph Addison, on Medals.

    Had he not been eager to find mistakes, he would not have strained my words to such a sense as they will not bear. Francis Atterbury.

    In all criminal cases, the most favourable interpretation should be put upon words that they possibly can bear. Jonathan Swift.

    There be some plants that bear no flower, and yet bear fruit: there be some that bear flowers, and no fruit: there be some that bear neither flowers nor fruit. Francis Bacon, Natural History.

    They wing’d their flight aloft; then stooping low,
    Perch’d on the double tree that bears the golden bough. John Dryden, Æneid.

    Say, shepherd, say, in what glad soil appears
    A wond’rous tree that sacred monarchs bears. Alexander Pope, Past.

    The queen that bore thee,
    Oftner upon her knees than on her feet,
    Died every day she liv’d. William Shakespeare, Macbeth.

    Ye know that my wife bare two sons. Genesis, xliv. 27.

    What could that have done?
    What could the muse herself that Orpheus bore,
    The muse herself, for her enchanting son? John Milton.

    The same Æneas, whom fair Venus bore
    To fam’d Anchises on th’ Idean shore. John Dryden, Æneid.

    Here dwelt the man divine whom Samos bore,
    But now self-banish’d from his native shore. Dryden.

    When vice prevails, and impious men bear sway,
    The post of honour is a private station. Joseph Addison, Cato.

    As it more concerns the Turk than Rhodes,
    So may he with more facile question bear it;
    For that it stands not in such warlike brace. William Shakespeare, Othello.

    Because the Greek and Latin have ever born away the prerogative from all other tongues, they shall serve as touchstones to make our trials by. William Camden.

    Some think to bear it by speaking a great word, and being peremptory; and go on, and take by admittance that which they cannot make good. Francis Bacon.

    He finds the pleasure and credit of bearing a part in the conversation, and of hearing his reasons approved. John Locke.

    I was carried on to observe, how they did bear their fortunes, and principally, how they did employ their times. Francis Bacon, Holy War.

    Ye Trojan flames, your testimony bear,
    What I perform’d and what I suffer’d there. Dryden.

    If I bring him not unto thee, let me bear the blame for ever. Genesis, xliii. 9.

    O more than madmen! you yourselves shall bear
    The guilt of blood and sacrilegious war. Dryden.

    What have you under your arm? Somewhat, that will bear your charges in your pilgrimage? John Dryden, Spanish Friar.

    I’ll be your father and your brother too;
    Let me but bear your love, I’ll bear your cares. William Shakespeare, Henry IV. p. ii.

    Some good instruction give,
    How I may bear me here. William Shakespeare, Tempest.

    Hath he born himself penitent in prison? William Shakespeare, Measure for Measure.

    Do you suppose the state of this realm to be now so feeble, that it cannot bear off a greater blow than this? John Hayward.

    The residue were so disordered as they could not conveniently fight or fly, and not only justled and bore down one another, but, in their confused tumbling back, brake a part of the avant-guard. John Hayward.

    Contention, like a horse
    Full of high feeding, madly hath broke loose,
    And bears down all before him. William Shakespeare, Henry IV. p. ii.

    Their broken oars, and floating planks, withstand
    Their passage, while they labour to the land;
    And ebbing tides bear back upon th’ uncertain sand. John Dryden, Æneid.

    Now with a noiseless gentle course
    It keeps within the middle bed;
    Anon it lifts aloft the head,
    And bears down all before it with impetuous force. Dryden.

    Truth is born down, attestations neglected, the testimony of sober persons despised. Jonathan Swift.

    The hopes of enjoying the abbey lands would soon bear down all considerations, and be an effectual incitement to their perversion. Jonathan Swift.

    My hope is
    So to bear through, and out, the consulship,
    As spite shall ne’er wound you, though it may me. Ben Jonson, Catiline.

    Cæsar doth bear me hard; but he loves Brutus. William Shakespeare, Julius Cæsar.

    Though he bear me hard,
    I yet must do him right. Ben Jonson, Catiline.

    These men bear hard upon the suspected party, pursue her close through all her windings. Joseph Addison, Spectator, №. 170.

    But confidence then bore thee on; secure
    Either to meet no danger, or to find
    Matter of glorious trial. John Milton, Par. Lost, b. i. l. 1175.

    Your daughter, whom she bore in hand to love
    With such integrity, she did confess,
    Was as a scorpion to her sight. William Shakespeare, Cymbeline.

    He griev’d,
    That so his sickness, age, and impotence,
    Was falsely born in hand, sends out arrests
    On Fortinbras. William Shakespeare, Hamlet.

    He repaired to Bruges, desiring of the states of Bruges, to enter peaceably into their town, with a retinue fit for his estate; and bearing them in hand, that he was to communicate with them of divers matters of great importance, for their good. Francis Bacon, Henry VII.

    It is no wonder, that some would bear the world in hand, that the apostle’s design and meaning is for presbytery, though his words are for episcopacy. South.

    I will respect thee as a father, if
    Thou bear'st my life off hence. William Shakespeare, Winter's Tale.

    The sun views half the earth on either way,
    And here brings on, and there bears off the day. Thomas Creech.

    Give but the word, we'll snatch this damsel up,
    And bear her off. Joseph Addison, Cato.

    My soul grows desperate.
    I'll bear her off. Ambrose Philips, Distrest Mother.

    I hope your warrant will bear out the deed. William Shakespeare, K. John.

    I can once or twice a quarter bear out a knave against an honest man. William Shakespeare, Henry IV. p. ii.

    Changes are never without danger, unless the prince be able to bear out his actions by power. John Hayward.

    Quoth Sidrophel, I do not doubt
    To find friends that will bear me out. Hudibras.

    It is company only that can bear a man out in an ill thing. South.

    I doubted whether that occasion could bear me out in the confidence of giving your ladyship any further trouble. William Temple.

  3. To Bearverb

    Stranger, cease thy care;
    Wise is the soul; but man is born to bear:
    Jove weighs affairs of earth in dubious scales,
    And the good suffers while the bad prevails. Alexander Pope, Odyssey.

    I cannot, cannot bear; ’tis past, ’tis done;
    Perish this impious, this detested son. John Dryden, Fables.

    A fruit tree hath been blown up almost by the roots, and set up again, and the next year bear exceedingly. Francis Bacon.

    Betwixt two season comes th’ auspicious air,
    This age to blossom, and the next to bear. Dryden.

    Melons on beds of ice are taught to bear,
    And, strangers to the sun, yet ripen here. George Granville.

    Having pawned a full suit of cloaths for a sum of money, which, my operator assured me, was the last he should want to bring all our matters to bear. Guardian, №. 166.

    Instruct me
    How I may formally in person bear,
    Like a true friar. William Shakespeare, Measure for Measure.

    The oily drops swimming on the spirit of wine, moved restlessly to and fro, sometimes bearing up to one another, as if all were to unite into one body, and then falling off, and continuing to shift places. Boyle.

    Never did men more joyfully obey,
    Or sooner understood the sign to fly:
    With such alacrity they bore away. John Dryden, Annus Mirab.

    Whose navy like a stiff-stretch’d cord did shew,
    Till he bore in, and bent them into flight. Dryden.

    On this the hero fix’d an oak in sight,
    The mark to guide the mariners aright:
    To bear with this, the seamen stretch their oars,
    Then round the rock they steer, and seek the former shores. John Dryden, Æneid.

    In a convex mirrour, we view the figures and all other things, which bear out with more life and strength than nature itself. John Dryden, Dufresnoy.

    We were encounter’d by a mighty rock,
    Which being violently born upon,
    Our helpless ship was splitted in the midst. William Shakespeare.

    Upon the tops of mountains, the air which bears against the restagnant quicksilver, is less pressed. Boyle.

    The sides bearing one against the other, they could not lie so close at the bottoms. Thomas Burnet, Theory of the Earth.

    As a lion bounding in his way,
    With force augmented bears against his prey,
    Sideling to seize. John Dryden, Fables.

    Because the operations to be performed by the teeth, require a considerable strength in the instruments which move the lower jaw, nature hath provided this with strong muscles, to make it bear forcibly against the upper jaw. John Ray.

    The weight of the body doth bear most upon the knee-joints, in raising itself up, and most upon the muscles of the thighs, in coming down. John Wilkins, Mathematical Magick.

    The waves of the sea bear violently and rapidly upon some shores, the waters being pent up by the land. William Broome, on the Odyssey.

    Spinola, with his shot, did bear upon those within, who appeared upon the walls. John Hayward.

    So long as nature
    Will bear up with this exercise, so long
    I daily vow to use it. William Shakespeare, Winter’s Tale.

    Persons in distress may speak of themselves with dignity; it shews a greatness of soul, that they bear up against the storms of fortune. , Notes on the Odyssey.

    The consciousness of integrity, the sense of a life spent in doing good, will enable a man to bear up under any change of circumstances. Francis Atterbury.

    When our commanders and soldiers were raw and unexperienced, we lost battles and towns; yet we bore up then, as the French do now; nor was there any thing decisive in their successes. Jonathan Swift.

    They are content to bear with my absence and folly. Philip Sidney.

    Though I must be content to bear with those that say you are reverend grave men; yet they lie deadly, that tell you, you have good faces. William Shakespeare, Coriolanus.

    Look you lay home to him;
    Tell him his pranks have been too broad to bear with. William Shakespeare, Hamlet.

    Bear with me then, if lawful what I ask. Paradise Lost.


  1. Bear

    Bears are carnivoran mammals of the family Ursidae. They are classified as caniforms, or doglike carnivorans. Although only eight species of bears are extant, they are widespread, appearing in a wide variety of habitats throughout the Northern Hemisphere and partially in the Southern Hemisphere. Bears are found on the continents of North America, South America, Europe, and Asia. Common characteristics of modern bears include large bodies with stocky legs, long snouts, small rounded ears, shaggy hair, plantigrade paws with five nonretractile claws, and short tails. While the polar bear is mostly carnivorous, and the giant panda feeds almost entirely on bamboo, the remaining six species are omnivorous with varied diets. With the exception of courting individuals and mothers with their young, bears are typically solitary animals. They may be diurnal or nocturnal and have an excellent sense of smell. Despite their heavy build and awkward gait, they are adept runners, climbers, and swimmers. Bears use shelters, such as caves and logs, as their dens; most species occupy their dens during the winter for a long period of hibernation, up to 100 days. Bears have been hunted since prehistoric times for their meat and fur; they have been used for bear-baiting and other forms of entertainment, such as being made to dance. With their powerful physical presence, they play a prominent role in the arts, mythology, and other cultural aspects of various human societies. In modern times, bears have come under pressure through encroachment on their habitats and illegal trade in bear parts, including the Asian bile bear market. The IUCN lists six bear species as vulnerable or endangered, and even least concern species, such as the brown bear, are at risk of extirpation in certain countries. The poaching and international trade of these most threatened populations are prohibited, but still ongoing.


  1. bear

    A bear is a large and powerful mammal belonging to the Ursidae family, characterized by a heavy build, strong limbs, and a short tail. Bears typically have a shaggy coat, varying in color from black, brown, to white, and are known for their strong sense of smell. They are found in various habitats across the world, including forests, mountains, tundra, and even in the Arctic regions. Bears are omnivorous creatures, typically feeding on a range of foods, including berries, nuts, fish, insects, and occasionally larger animals. They are known for their hibernation behavior during the colder months.

Webster Dictionary

  1. Bearverb

    to support or sustain; to hold up

  2. Bearverb

    to support and remove or carry; to convey

  3. Bearverb

    to conduct; to bring; -- said of persons

  4. Bearverb

    to possess and use, as power; to exercise

  5. Bearverb

    to sustain; to have on (written or inscribed, or as a mark), as, the tablet bears this inscription

  6. Bearverb

    to possess or carry, as a mark of authority or distinction; to wear; as, to bear a sword, badge, or name

  7. Bearverb

    to possess mentally; to carry or hold in the mind; to entertain; to harbor

  8. Bearverb

    to endure; to tolerate; to undergo; to suffer

  9. Bearverb

    to gain or win

  10. Bearverb

    to sustain, or be answerable for, as blame, expense, responsibility, etc

  11. Bearverb

    to render or give; to bring forward

  12. Bearverb

    to carry on, or maintain; to have

  13. Bearverb

    to admit or be capable of; that is, to suffer or sustain without violence, injury, or change

  14. Bearverb

    to manage, wield, or direct

  15. Bearverb

    to behave; to conduct

  16. Bearverb

    to afford; to be to; to supply with

  17. Bearverb

    to bring forth or produce; to yield; as, to bear apples; to bear children; to bear interest

  18. Bearverb

    to produce, as fruit; to be fruitful, in opposition to barrenness

  19. Bearverb

    to suffer, as in carrying a burden

  20. Bearverb

    to endure with patience; to be patient

  21. Bearverb

    to press; -- with on or upon, or against

  22. Bearverb

    to take effect; to have influence or force; as, to bring matters to bear

  23. Bearverb

    to relate or refer; -- with on or upon; as, how does this bear on the question?

  24. Bearverb

    to have a certain meaning, intent, or effect

  25. Bearverb

    to be situated, as to the point of compass, with respect to something else; as, the land bears N. by E

  26. Bearnoun

    a bier

  27. Bearnoun

    any species of the genus Ursus, and of the closely allied genera. Bears are plantigrade Carnivora, but they live largely on fruit and insects

  28. Bearnoun

    an animal which has some resemblance to a bear in form or habits, but no real affinity; as, the woolly bear; ant bear; water bear; sea bear

  29. Bearnoun

    one of two constellations in the northern hemisphere, called respectively the Great Bear and the Lesser Bear, or Ursa Major and Ursa Minor

  30. Bearnoun

    metaphorically: A brutal, coarse, or morose person

  31. Bearnoun

    a person who sells stocks or securities for future delivery in expectation of a fall in the market

  32. Bearnoun

    a portable punching machine

  33. Bearnoun

    a block covered with coarse matting; -- used to scour the deck

  34. Bearverb

    to endeavor to depress the price of, or prices in; as, to bear a railroad stock; to bear the market

  35. Bearnoun

    alt. of Bere


  1. Bear

    Bears are mammals of the family Ursidae. Bears are classified as caniforms, or doglike carnivorans, with the pinnipeds being their closest living relatives. Although only eight species of bears are extant, they are widespread, appearing in a wide variety of habitats throughout the Northern Hemisphere and partially in the Southern Hemisphere. Bears are found on the continents of North America, South America, Europe, and Asia. Common characteristics of modern bears include large bodies with stocky legs, long snouts, shaggy hair, plantigrade paws with five nonretractile claws, and short tails. While the polar bear is mostly carnivorous and the giant panda feeds almost entirely on bamboo, the remaining six species are omnivorous, with varied diets. With the exceptions of courting individuals and mothers with their young, bears are typically solitary animals. They are generally diurnal, but may be active during the night or twilight, particularly around humans. Bears are aided by an excellent sense of smell, and despite their heavy build and awkward gait, they can run quickly and are adept climbers and swimmers. In autumn, some bear species forage large amounts of fermented fruits, which affects their behaviour. Bears use shelters, such as caves and burrows, as their dens; most species occupy their dens during the winter for a long period of sleep similar to hibernation.

Chambers 20th Century Dictionary

  1. Bear

    bār, v.t. to carry or support: to endure: to admit of: to be entitled to: to afford: to import: to manage: to behave or conduct one's self: to bring forth or produce.—v.i. to suffer: to be patient: to have reference to: to press (with on or upon): to be situated:—pr.p. bear′ing; pa.t. bōre; pa.p. bōrne (but the pa.p. when used to mean 'brought forth' is born).—adj. Bear′able, that may be borne or endured.—n. Bear′ableness.—adv. Bear′ably.—ns. Bear′er, one who or that which bears, esp. one who assists in carrying a body to the grave: a carrier or messenger; Bear′ing, behaviour: situation of one object with regard to another: relation: that which is borne upon an escutcheon: (mach.) the part of a shaft or axle in contact with its supports; Bear′ing-cloth, the mantle or cloth in which a child was carried to the font; Bear′ing-rein, the fixed rein between the bit and the saddle, by which a horse's head is held up in driving and its neck made to arch.—Bear hard (Shak.), to press or urge; Bear in hand (Shak.), to keep in expectation, to flatter one's hopes; To bear a hand, to give assistance; To bear away, to sail away; To bear down (with upon or towards), to sail with the wind; To bear out, to corroborate; To bear up, to keep up one's courage; To bear up for (a place), to sail towards; To bear with, to make allowance for; To be borne in (upon the) mind, to be forcibly impressed upon it; To bring to bear, to bring into operation (with against, upon); To lose one's bearings, to become uncertain as to one's position. [A.S. beran; Goth. bairan, L. ferre, Gr. pher-ein, Sans. bhri.]

  2. Bear

    an obsolete form of Bier.

  3. Bear

    bār, n. a heavy quadruped of the order Carnivora, with long shaggy hair and hooked claws: any rude, rough, or ill-bred fellow: one who sells stocks for delivery at a future date, anticipating a fall in price so that he may buy first at an advantage—opp. to Bull: the old phrase 'a bearskin jobber' suggests an origin in the common proverb, 'to sell the bearskin before one has caught the bear' (hence To bear, to speculate for a fall): (astron.) the name of two constellations, the Great and the Little Bear.—ns. Bear′-ber′ry, a trailing plant of the heath family, a species of the Arbutus; Bear′bine, a species of convolvulus, closely allied to the bindweed; Bear′-gar′den, an enclosure where bears are kept; a rude, turbulent assembly.—adj. Bear′ish, like a bear.—ns. Bear′ishness; Bear′-lead′er, a person who leads about a bear for exhibition: the tutor or governor of a youth at the university or on travel; Bear's′-breech, a common name for plants of the genus Acanthus; Bear's′-ear, a common English name for the auricula; Bear's′-foot, a species of hellebore; Bear′skin, the skin of a bear: a shaggy woollen cloth for overcoats: the high fur cap worn by the Guards in England; Bear′-ward, a warden or keeper of bears. [A.S. bera; Ger. bär; cf. L. fera, a wild beast, akin to Gr. thēr, Æolian phēr.]

  4. Bear

    bēr, n. barley, applied in Scotland to the now little grown variety Hordeum hexastichon. [A.S. bere.]

The Nuttall Encyclopedia

  1. Bear

    name given in the Stock Exchange to one who contracts to deliver stock at a fixed price on a certain day, in contradistinction from the bull, or he who contracts to take it, the interest of the former being that, in the intervening time, the stocks should fall, and that of the latter that they should rise.

Dictionary of Nautical Terms

  1. bear

    A large block of stone, matted, loaded with shot, and fitted with ropes, by which it is roused or pulled to and fro to grind the decks withal. Also, a coir-mat filled with sand similarly used.

Military Dictionary and Gazetteer

  1. bear

    In a military sense, a piece of ordnance is said to bear, or come to bear, or is brought to bear, when pointed directly against the object; that is, pointed to hit the object.

Suggested Resources

  1. bear

    The bear symbol -- In this Symbols.com article you will learn about the meaning of the bear symbol and its characteristic.

  2. BEAR

    What does BEAR stand for? -- Explore the various meanings for the BEAR acronym on the Abbreviations.com website.

  3. Bear

    Bear vs. Bare -- In this Grammar.com article you will learn the differences between the words Bear and Bare.

  4. Bear

    Bare vs. Bear -- In this Grammar.com article you will learn the differences between the words Bare and Bear.

Etymology and Origins

  1. Bear

    Wherever this enters into the name of a tavern sign (with the single exception of that of “The Bear and Ragged Staff”) it denotes a house that had originally a bear garden attached to it.

Surnames Frequency by Census Records

  1. BEAR

    According to the U.S. Census Bureau, Bear is ranked #4308 in terms of the most common surnames in America.

    The Bear surname appeared 8,252 times in the 2010 census and if you were to sample 100,000 people in the United States, approximately 3 would have the surname Bear.

    78% or 6,441 total occurrences were White.
    10.5% or 869 total occurrences were American Indian or Alaskan Native.
    4.8% or 398 total occurrences were of Hispanic origin.
    2.8% or 235 total occurrences were Asian.
    2.8% or 234 total occurrences were of two or more races.
    0.9% or 75 total occurrences were Black.

British National Corpus

  1. Spoken Corpus Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'bear' in Spoken Corpus Frequency: #2322

  2. Written Corpus Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'bear' in Written Corpus Frequency: #1987

  3. Nouns Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'bear' in Nouns Frequency: #1994

  4. Verbs Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'bear' in Verbs Frequency: #244

How to pronounce bear?

How to say bear in sign language?


  1. Chaldean Numerology

    The numerical value of bear in Chaldean Numerology is: 1

  2. Pythagorean Numerology

    The numerical value of bear in Pythagorean Numerology is: 8

Examples of bear in a Sentence

  1. James Allen:

    Good thoughts bear good fruit, bad thoughts bear bad fruit.

  2. Pope Francis on Thursday evening:

    You suffered greatly in the not distant past by having to bear the shame of some of your brothers who harmed and scandalized the Church in the most vulnerable of her members.

  3. Jeffrey Gundlach:

    We were near a minimum allocation to stocks before the summer meltdown, we stayed there while the SPX dropped over 250 points. Yes, stocks are, in our view, in a bear market, but there are counter-trend moves along the way.

  4. Ted Cruz:

    There's a reason when Barack Obama and Chuck Schumer came after our right to keep and bear arms, that I led the opposition, along with millions of Americans, we defeated that gun control legislation. I would note that the other individuals on this stage were nowhere to be found in that fight.

  5. Ceiridwen Edwards:

    Instead, after (incorrectly) establishing a direct link to a 40,000-year-old polar bear sequence, they then used this misinformation in the publicity for the paper.

Popularity rank by frequency of use


Translations for bear

From our Multilingual Translation Dictionary

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