bear down

bore down; borne down also born down; bearing down; bears down

Definition of bear down

intransitive verb

: to exert full strength and concentrated attention
bear down on
1 : emphasize
2 : to weigh heavily on : burden

Examples of bear down in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

The troops are forced to set out—their hostage in tow—through the jungle to find a new base, and the pressure of the situation bears down on their sense of collectivism. N.e.g., The Economist, "“Monos” paints a surreal and disturbing portrait of child guerrillas," 16 Sep. 2019 During the 2018 hurricane season, when a big one was bearing down on the Gulf or Atlantic coasts and most people were trying to get out of the storm’s path, Jonathan Pruitt was fighting to catch the last flight in. Megan Molteni, WIRED, "Colonies of Aggressive, Social Spiders Boom After a Hurricane," 19 Aug. 2019 Millions of people along the East Coast and in the Midwestern United States are under a heat watch this weekend as a massive heat wave bears down. Sarah Gibbens, National Geographic, "Exposed to extreme heat, plastic bottles may ultimately become unsafe," 19 July 2019 The world’s governments urgently need to look past the sparkly good news in the electricity sector and bear down on heating and transportation, where most of the energy is being consumed. David Roberts, Vox, "The global transition to clean energy, explained in 12 charts," 18 June 2019 Jimenez bore down, striking Mancini out swinging on breaking balls. Anthony Fenech, Detroit Free Press, "Detroit Tigers still chasing No. 1 draft pick after Tyler Alexander's gem," 16 Sep. 2019 The deadly storm bore down on the Bahamas over the weekend with sustained winds of 185 mph. Thomas Frank, Scientific American, "Dorian Drives Home Warnings of Climate Influence on Hurricanes," 3 Sep. 2019 As Hurricane Dorian bore down on the Bahamas, a pocket of New Bedford transplants on Florida’s eastern shore wondered what was ahead for them. Lucas Phillips,, "Florida transplants from New Bedford await Dorian," 1 Sep. 2019 The Category 4 storm was bearing down on the Bahamas Saturday morning and slated to approach Florida around Wednesday. Dylan Mcguinness, Houston Chronicle, "Texas sends emergency task force to Florida as it prepares for Hurricane Dorian," 31 Aug. 2019

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

See More

First Known Use of bear down

14th century, in the meaning defined at transitive sense

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about bear down

Statistics for bear down

Last Updated

18 Oct 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for bear down

The first known use of bear down was in the 14th century

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for bear down

bear down

intransitive verb
\ (ˈ)ba(ə)r-ˈdau̇n, (ˈ)be(ə)r- How to pronounce bear down (audio) \

Medical Definition of bear down

: to contract the abdominal muscles and the diaphragm during childbirth

Comments on bear down

What made you want to look up bear down? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


to fake an opponent out of position

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Where in the World? A Quiz

  • peter bruegel tower of babel painting
  • What language does pajama come from?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?


Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!