bear·​er | \ ˈber-ər How to pronounce bearer (audio) \

Definition of bearer

: one that bears: such as
b : a plant yielding fruit
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

And there is nothing more deflating than watching someone who has put his foot wrong in this culture subject himself to performative self-criticism, abominating himself as a bearer of privilege. Michael Brendan Dougherty, National Review, "Pavlik Morozov Is the Patron Saint of Cancel Culture," 2 July 2019 Finance chiefs are often the bearers of bad news during earnings calls, with share prices reaping the consequences. Ezequiel Minaya, WSJ, "Facebook’s ‘Chief Buzzkill’ Strikes Again," 26 July 2018 Scott Mettille stood out as the standard bearer for free-flowing naturalism, a cause taken up by Leslie O’Neill and Sarah Steichen Stiles. Rob Hubbard, Twin Cities, "Review: Zenon Dance Company’s farewell is exhilarating and touching," 14 June 2019 Here's what to watch for: Biden vs. Sanders One candidate has painted themselves as the standard-bearer of Democratic ideals and the best antidote to a second term by President Donald Trump. Rebecca Morin, USA TODAY, "Biden vs. Sanders and other things to watch in the first Democratic debates," 14 June 2019 Well, sorry to be the bearer of bad news, but the 90-day precipitation forecast for our neck of the woods is that dreaded average! Paul Cappiello, The Courier-Journal, "Hate to break it to you, but you're already not watering your garden enough," 7 June 2019 No one wanted to be the bearer of catastrophic news. Sophie Pinkham, The New York Review of Books, "The Chernobyl Syndrome," 4 Apr. 2019 Investors who bought into funds billed as standard bearers for workplace diversity and climate-change policies might be surprised to find that their portfolio managers aren’t necessarily putting their money where their mouth is. Asjylyn Loder, WSJ, "Funds Don’t Always Vote for Policies They Publicly Back," 2 Apr. 2019 Norwegian Airlines, considered the standard-bearer of discount long-haul airfare, charts a similarly precarious financial path. Sam Blum, Popular Mechanics, "Are the Discount Airlines Doomed?," 29 Mar. 2019

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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Statistics for bearer

Last Updated

15 Jul 2019

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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 How to pronounce bearer (audio) \

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 How to pronounce bearer (audio) \

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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More from Merriam-Webster on bearer

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with bearer

Spanish Central: Translation of bearer

Nglish: Translation of bearer for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of bearer for Arabic Speakers Encyclopedia article about bearer

Comments on bearer

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to complain fretfully

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