bear·​er ˈber-ər How to pronounce bearer (audio)
: one that bears: such as
: a plant yielding fruit
: 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 There is the torch (religion), there’s the flame (spirituality) and then there’s the torch bearer (believers). Laura Newberry, Los Angeles Times, 5 Sep. 2023 Olivia Rodrigo, the bearer of perhaps the most famous driver’s license in Los Angeles, piloted her black Range Rover to Westwood on a scorching late July afternoon. Caryn Ganz, New York Times, 24 Aug. 2023 All over the world, a standard bearer for the rights of the truly downtrodden, a very British girl who transcended nationality. Town & Country, 31 Aug. 2023 The impeachment of Ken Paxton was approved in a 121-23 vote, with 60 Republicans including the House speaker voting against one of their own party’s prominent standard bearers. Shannon Najmabadi, WSJ, 30 May 2023 The win also came against a stout Philadelphia Union team that, in many ways, is a standard bearer in MLS for all the right reasons. Cincinnati Enquirer, The Enquirer, 16 Aug. 2023 From the earliest embryonic stage to the very end of life, each and every human being is a person and a bearer of fundamental dignity and an unalienable right to life. Jeff Bradford, National Review, 15 June 2023 Tony Bennett, a standard bearer of the American Songbook whose resilient career stretched from duetting with Judy Garland to Lady Gaga, died on July 21 at the age of 96. Andrew R. Chow, Time, 21 July 2023 The Patriots desperately need to ascertain whether Mac Jones is the torch bearer at quarterback or a first-round flameout-in-the-making. Globe Staff,, 18 July 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'bearer.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of bearer was before the 12th century

Dictionary Entries Near bearer

Cite this Entry

“Bearer.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 23 Sep. 2023.

Kids Definition


bear·​er ˈbar-ər How to pronounce bearer (audio)
: someone or something that bears, supports, or carries
: a person holding a check or order for payment

Legal Definition


1 of 2 noun
bear·​er ˈbar-ər How to pronounce bearer (audio)
: a person holding a check, draft, or other negotiable instrument for payment especially marked payable to bearer or having a blank endorsement


2 of 2 adjective
: freely transferable by the holder with or without endorsement and with full title passing by delivery to the transferee: as
: not having a registered owner
: not designating a specific payee
a bearer instrument
bearer checks
compare order
Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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