1

bear

noun, often attributive \ ˈber \
Updated on: 13 Oct 2017

Definition of bear

plural bears
1 or plural bear :any of a family (Ursidae of the order Carnivora) of large heavy mammals of America and Eurasia that have long shaggy hair, rudimentary tails, and plantigrade feet and feed largely on fruit, plant matter, and insects as well as on flesh
2 :a surly, uncouth, burly, or shambling person
  • a tall, friendly bear of a man
3
[probably from the proverb about selling the bearskin before catching the bear]
:one that sells securities or commodities in expectation of a price decline — compare bull
4 :something difficult to do or deal with
  • the oven is a bear to clean

bearlike

play \-ˌlīk\ adjective

Examples of bear in a Sentence

  1. Traffic in Knoxville, Tennessee, can be a bear anytime, but in late spring the slowdowns on Neyland Drive are often caused by Canada geese. —Joelle AnthonyAudubonNovember-December 2004
  2. True, the rally has been around the corner since Memorial Day. But bears have dominated market sentiment for so long since the Federal Reserve Board raised interest rates last February, that traders feel the market is headed for a major tectonic shift … —Anthony RamirezNew York Times19 July 1994
  3. Hikers in the woods are far more likely to wear a bell to deter bears than to take precautions against bees. But bears kill two to seven people in North America annually, bee stings kill 600 to 900. —Allan J. DavisonChemical & Engineering News15 Mar. 1993
  4. a mother bear and her cubs

  5. The bears outnumbered the bulls on Wall Street today.

Recent Examples of bear from the Web

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'bear.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

Origin and Etymology of bear

Middle English bere, from Old English bera; akin to Old English brūn brown — more at brown

Other Mammals Terms


2

bear

verb \ ˈber \

Definition of bear

bore play \ˈbȯr\; borne also born play \ˈbȯrn\; bearing
transitive verb
1 a :to move while holding up and supporting (something)
b :to be equipped or furnished with (something)
c :behave, conduct
  • bearing himself well
d :to have as a feature or characteristic
  • bears a likeness to her grandmother
e :to give as testimony
  • bear false witness
f :to have as an identification
  • bore the name of John
g :to hold in the mind or emotions
  • bear malice
i :lead, escort
j :render, give
2 a :to give birth to
b :to produce as yield
c (1) :to permit growth of
(2) :contain
  • oil-bearing shale
3 a :to support the weight of :sustain
b :to accept or allow oneself to be subjected to especially without giving way
  • couldn't bear the pain
  • I can't bear seeing you cry
c :to call for as suitable or essential
  • it bears watching
d :to hold above, on top, or aloft
e :to admit of :allow
intransitive verb
1 :to produce fruit :yield
2 a :to force one's way
b :to extend in a direction indicated or implied
c :to be situated :lie
d :to become directed
e :to go or incline in an indicated direction
3 :to support a weight or strain often used with up
4 a :to exert influence or force
b :apply, pertain often used with on or upon
  • facts bearing on the question
bear a hand
:to join in and help out
bear arms
1 :to carry or possess arms
2 :to serve as a soldier
bear fruit
:to come to satisfying fruition, production, or development :to produce a desired result or reward
bear in mind
:to think of (something) especially as a warning :remember
bear with
:to be indulgent, patient, or forbearing with (someone)

Examples of bear in a Sentence

  1. A stone slab bearing 3,000-year-old writing previously unknown to scholars has been found in the Mexican state of Veracruz, and archaeologists say it is an example of the oldest script ever discovered in the Western Hemisphere. —John Noble WilfordNew York Times15 Sept. 2006
  2. Large public buildings often bear only a loose resemblance to what was originally in the minds of the architects who designed them. Things get cut back to save money; somebody has second thoughts about the way part of the building will function; it takes so long to get public approval that the original idea starts to seem dated … —Paul GoldbergerNew Yorker17 Jan. 2002
  3. The most famous work of Louis Pasteur (1822-1895), of course, was purifying milk with the process that now bears his name. —Brendan MiniterAmerican EnterpriseSeptember/October 1998
  4. In so-called parking schemes, securities aren't carried on the books of the true owner but are temporarily sold to someone else with the understanding that the seller will continue to bear any risk of loss and reap any profits. —James B. StewartNew Yorker8 Mar. 1993
  5. As a science fiction buff, many years ago, I remember being particularly fascinated by tales of genetic surgery. Imagine the surgeon … peering through the electron microscope, repairing the sickle-cell gene and returning the ovum to its mother, who would then bear a normal child. —Richard NovickNew York Times Book Review15 Feb. 1987
  6. The sight of Niña already there, snugged down as if she had been at home a month, finished Martín Alonso Pinzón. Older than Columbus, ill from the hardships of the voyage, mortified by his snub from the Sovereigns, he could bear no more. —Samuel Eliot MorisonThe European Discovery of America1974
  7. a symphony that can bear comparison with Beethoven's best

  8. The company agreed to bear the costs.

  9. The criminals must bear full responsibility for the deaths of these innocent people.

  10. Who will bear the blame for this tragedy?

Recent Examples of bear from the Web

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'bear.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

Usage Note on bear

There is considerable confusion between the verbs bear and bare. It may help to remember that the verb bare has only one meaning: "to uncover," as in "bare your shoulders" and "a dog baring its teeth." All other uses of the verb are for bear: "bearing children," "the right to bear arms," "bearing up under the stress/weight," "can't bear the thought," "bear south," "it bears repeating."

There is occasional confusion between bear and bare in adjectival uses (as in "he rubbed his bear arms"), but bear is properly a noun and only used like an adjective in the financial phrase bear market. All other uses refer to the state of being uncovered or naked and should therefore be bare: "bare necessities," "bare essentials," "bare arms," "bare bones," "bare-knuckle," and so on.

Origin and Etymology of bear

Middle English beren to carry, bring forth, from Old English beran; akin to Old High German beran to carry, Latin ferre, Greek pherein

bear Synonyms

Synonyms
birth [chiefly dialect], deliver, drop, have, mother, produce, give birth to, live with, lump (it), stand for, tough (it) out
Antonyms
disavow, disclaim, disown, repudiate
Related Words
labor; breed, multiply, propagate, reproduce, spawn; beget, father, generate, get, sire; calve, kid, kindle, kitten, litter, pup, whelp
Near Antonyms
abort, lose, miscarry

Synonym Discussion of bear

bear, suffer, endure, abide, tolerate, stand mean to put up with something trying or painful. bear usually implies the power to sustain without flinching or breaking.
    • forced to bear a tragic loss
suffer often suggests acceptance or passivity rather than courage or patience in bearing.
    • suffering many insults
endure implies continuing firm or resolute through trials and difficulties.
    • endured years of rejection
abide suggests acceptance without resistance or protest.
    • cannot abide their rudeness
tolerate suggests overcoming or successfully controlling an impulse to resist, avoid, or resent something injurious or distasteful.
    • refused to tolerate such treatment
stand emphasizes even more strongly the ability to bear without discomposure or flinching.
    • unable to stand teasing

Bear

geographical name \ ˈber \

Definition of Bear

river 350 miles (563 kilometers) long in northern Utah, southwestern Wyoming, and southeastern Idaho flowing to Great Salt Lake

Financial Definition of BEAR

bear

What It Is

A bear has a negative outlook on the market (belief that the value of an asset or market will decrease).

How It Works

Investors generally fall into two mindsets: those with an optimistic outlook who foresee prosperity, called "bulls," and those with a pessimistic outlook who foresee decline, called "bears."

A bearish investor will alter their portfolio strategy by liquidating securities they believe are going to lose value in the foreseeable future. A bullish investor, on the other hand, believes securities will continue to rise and would continue to invest long in securities.

Depending on an investor's outlook, they could change from a bear to a bull or vice-versa.

Why It Matters

Market perceptions can affect securities prices depending on how many bulls or bears there are in the market. This is best expressed by the bull/bear ratio. In either case, bulls and bears can impact the direction of market movements as a result of the investments they make.

If you're having difficulties remembering the which animal describes what, just remember: A bull attacks by thrusting his horns in an upward movement, while a bear attacks by swiping his paw in a downward movement. Therefore, if the market goes up, it's a bull market; it the market trends down, it's a bear market.

For more details on the history of these words, read The Quirky And Brutal Origins Of The Terms 'Bear' And 'Bull.'


BEAR Defined for English Language Learners

bear

noun

Definition of bear for English Language Learners

  • : any one of a group of large and heavy animals that have thick hair and sharp claws and that can stand on two legs like a person

  • finance : a person who expects the price of stocks to go down and who sells them to avoid losing money

  • : something that is difficult to do or deal with


bear

verb

Definition of bear for English Language Learners

  • : to accept or endure (something) ( US )

  • : to be worthy of (something) : to deserve or allow (something)

  • : to assume or accept (something, such as cost or responsibility)


BEAR Defined for Kids

1

bear

noun \ ˈber \

Definition of bear for Students

plural bears
1 or plural bear :a large heavy mammal with long shaggy hair and a very short tail
2 :a person resembling a bear in size or behavior a large bear of a man He acted like a grumpy old bear.

2

bear

verb

Definition of bear for Students

bore \ˈbȯr\; borne \ˈbȯrn\; bearing
1 :1support 1
  • bear weight
2 :to move while holding up and supporting :carry
  • They came bearing gifts.
3 :to hold in the mind
  • She bears a grudge.
4 :to put up with
  • I can't bear the suspense.
5 :to assume or accept
  • bear the blame
6 :to have as a feature or characteristic
  • She bears a resemblance to her sister.
7 :give birth to
  • bear children
8 :1produce 1
  • trees bearing fruit
  • bear interest
9 :to move or lie in the indicated direction
  • Bear right at the fork.
10 :to have a relation to the matter at hand
  • These facts don't bear on the question.
bear down on
:to push or lean down on
  • Bear down hard on your pencil.
bear in mind
:to think of especially as a warning
  • Bear in mind that you only get one chance.
bear up
:to have strength or courage
  • She's bearing up under the stress.
bear with
:to be patient with
  • Bear with me.

Medical Dictionary

bear

transitive verb \ ˈba(ə)r, ˈbe(ə)r \

medical Definition of bear

bore play \ˈbō(ə)r, ˈbȯ(ə)r\; borne play \ˈbō(ə)rn, ˈbȯ(ə)rn\ also born play \ˈbȯ(ə)rn\; bearing
:to give birth to

Law Dictionary

bear

verb \ ˈbar \

legal Definition of bear

bore play \ˈbōr\; borne \ˈbōrn\ also born
transitive verb
1 :to physically carry (as an object or message)
  • the right of the people to keep and bear arms
  • U.S. Constitution amend. II
2 :yield
  • the stock will bear a dividend
3 a :to admit of :allow
  • whatever price the market will bear
b :assume, accept
  • you bear legal responsibility for him
intransitive verb
:to relate or have relevance
  • will admit evidence bearing on her defense


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