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

With the Minnesota attack bearing down on the Orlando backline throughout the first half, O’Connor needed to add a jolt to the Lions’ offense. Julia Poe, Pro Soccer USA, "Orlando City’s growth is ‘night and day’ as team chases playoff spot," 23 Aug. 2019 The runaway train hurtled into the center of town shortly after midnight, with no one aboard to apply the brakes or sound a whistle to warn residents about the deadly cargo bearing down on them. Ian Austen, New York Times, "A Runaway Train Explosion Killed 47, but Deadly Cargo Still Rides the Rails," 16 July 2019 With soon-to-be-hurricane Barry bearing down on the Gulf Coast, officials are reminding residents to include their cats and dogs in their evacuation plans, or risk being fined up to $300. Meghan Overdeep, Southern Living, "Reminder: It's Illegal to Tie up Pets During a Hurricane or Flood in Louisiana," 12 July 2019 Microsoft paid Slack the backhanded compliment of copying its idea for a chat application and is now bearing down on it. Richard Waters,, "How Slack’s non-techie CEO Stewart Butterfield reached the top of Silicon Valley," 22 June 2019 The high temperatures bearing down on Europe may be a threat to the ailing building, according to Chief Architect Philippe Villeneuve. Christina Zdanowicz, CNN, "Notre Dame's architect says the heat wave could cause the cathedral's ceiling to collapse," 24 July 2019 The Judah’s Advance cover features a drawing of a ship bearing down on a rocky coastline, where a stone tablet engraved with the Ten Commandments sat amongst a pile of rocks that had fallen from the sky. Leah Sottile, Longreads, "Chapter Five: The Remnant," 20 July 2019 Rhode Island Democrat David Cicilline, who leads the antitrust panel, is bearing down on technology companies as antitrust enforcers prepare their own scrutiny of the industry. Bloomberg News,, "Tech giants brace for Washington showdown in echo of Bill Gates," 16 July 2019 Gentrification pressures are bearing down on homes all along the street, pushing up sales prices and property taxes. San Antonio Express-News, "Subscribe to the San Antonio Express-News," 3 Jan. 2015

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.

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First Known Use of bear down

14th century, in the meaning defined at transitive sense

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Statistics for bear down

Last Updated

6 Sep 2019

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Time Traveler for bear down

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

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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 make a temporary encampment

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