View your list of saved words. (You can log in using Facebook.)
In machine construction, a connector (usually a support) that permits the connected members to rotate or to move in a straight line relative to one another. Often one of the members is fixed, and the bearing acts as a support for the moving member. Most bearings support rotating shafts against either transverse (radial) or thrust (axial) loads. To minimize friction, the contacting surfaces in a bearing may be separated by a film of oil or gas; these are sliding bearings (seeoil seal). In ball bearings and roller bearings, the surfaces are separated by balls or rollers.
This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise. For the full entry on bearing, visit Britannica.com.