bear·er | \ˈber-ər \

Definition of bearer 

: one that bears: such as

a : porter sense 1

b : a plant yielding fruit

c : pallbearer

d : one holding a check, draft, bond, or other order for payment especially if marked payable to bearer often used attributively bearer bonds

Examples of bearer in a Sentence

the bearer of a U.S. passport The check was marked “payable to bearer.”

Recent Examples on the Web

The baritone, who turned 76 in October, acts as both leader and standard-bearer for the group, which now includes Ron Tyson, Terry Weeks, Larry Braggs and Willie Greene in its ranks. Jordan Runtagh,, "The Last Temptation of Motown: A Conversation with Soul Survivor Otis Williams," 4 May 2018 But at Alabama, winners of five of the last nine national titles, even spring practice has championship stakes, and that mindset has molded Nick Saban’s powerhouse into a standard-bearer for the sport., "Behind the Scenes with Alabama Football," 4 May 2018 Once out of jail, Debs became American socialism's standard-bearer and helped create the Socialist Party of America and later the Industrial Workers of the World (the Wobblies). Ryan Smith, Chicago Reader, "Film / Arts / Politics Shh, don't tell the NRA! American Socialist is coming to Chicago," 1 Mar. 2018 López Obrador, 64, a longtime leftist standard-bearer and former mayor of Mexico City, scored a stunning victory by promising to battle corruption and improve the lives of the poor. Kevin Sieff, Washington Post, "López Obrador, a leftist, wins sweeping mandate in Mexican presidential election," 2 July 2018 Varoufakis, 57, has since become a vocal critic of politics in the European Union and a torch bearer for progressive ideas across the continent. Felipe Ossa, Daily Intelligencer, "Yanis Varoufakis Has Some Ideas About How to Save The Future," 25 May 2018 The tap list includes local breweries such as Solid Ground and Knee Deep, as well as standard bearer Pabst Blue Ribbon. Kate Washington, sacbee, "Sacramento is taking its hot-dog game to the next level," 18 May 2018 Lincoln funeral carriage procession to Union Depot escorted by dignitaries, torch bearers and armed troops as bells toll. Dawn Mitchell, Indianapolis Star, "The epic journey of Abraham Lincoln's funeral train," 30 Apr. 2018 The bureaucracy has issued some 250,000 documents certifying the bearer as a freedom fighter. The Economist, "Protests in Bangladesh put an end to a corrupt quota system," 21 Apr. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'bearer.' 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 bearer

13th century, in the meaning defined above

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Phrases Related to bearer

ring bearer

Statistics for bearer

Last Updated

7 Oct 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for bearer

The first known use of bearer was in the 13th century

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More Definitions for bearer



English Language Learners Definition of bearer

: a person who bears or carries something

finance : a person who has a check or order for payment


bear·er | \ˈber-ər \

Kids Definition of bearer

1 : someone or something that bears, supports, or carries She was the bearer of bad news.

2 : a person who has a check or an order for payment


bear·er | \ˈbar-ər \

Legal Definition of bearer 

(Entry 1 of 2)

: a person holding a check, draft, or other negotiable instrument for payment especially marked payable to bearer or having a blank endorsement



Legal Definition of bearer (Entry 2 of 2)

: freely transferable by the holder with or without endorsement and with full title passing by delivery to the transferee: as

a : not having a registered owner

b : not designating a specific payee a bearer instrument bearer checks — compare order

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Comments on bearer

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


one that holds something together

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