bear·ing | \ ˈber-iŋ \

Definition of bearing 

1 : the manner in which one behaves or comports oneself : the manner in which one bears (see bear entry 2 sense 2f) oneself a man of dignified bearing … a confident and cheerful bearing. —Sheridan LeFanu

2a : the act, power, or time of bringing forth offspring or fruit a woman past bearing

b : a product of bearing : crop three bearings in a year

3a : an object, surface, or point that supports

b : a machine part in which another part (such as a journal or pin) turns or slides

4 heraldry : a figure borne on a heraldic field (see field entry 1 sense 3c) The lion is a common bearing.

6a : the situation or horizontal direction of one point with respect to another or to the compass on a northerly bearing

b : a determination of position take a bearing

c bearings plural : comprehension of one's position, environment, or situation The ship lost its bearings in the fog. helping new employees get their bearings

d : relation, connection often used with on facts that have a direct bearing on the questionThey assured us that their personal feelings had no bearing on their decision. also : purport the bearing of that remark

7 : the part of a structural member that rests on its supports a beam with 4 inches of bearing upon the wall

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Choose the Right Synonym for bearing

bearing, deportment, demeanor, mien, manner, carriage mean the outward manifestation of personality or attitude. bearing is the most general of these words but now usually implies characteristic posture. a woman of regal bearing deportment suggests actions or behavior as formed by breeding or training. your deportment was atrocious demeanor suggests one's attitude toward others as expressed in outward behavior. the haughty demeanor of the headwaiter mien is a literary term referring both to bearing and demeanor. a mien of supreme self-satisfaction manner implies characteristic or customary way of moving and gesturing and addressing others. the imperious manner of a man used to giving orders carriage applies chiefly to habitual posture in standing or walking. the kind of carriage learned at boarding school

Examples of bearing in a Sentence

a man of military bearing these new facts have some bearing on the case

Recent Examples on the Web

The companies included the razor maker Schick Manufacturing and Nachi America, which makes cutting tools, bearings and hydraulics. New York Times, "Companies Get First Tariff Waivers, but Many More Are Left in Limbo," 22 June 2018 The power supply has a quiet 120mm fan with sealed bearings and better quality capacitors for a longer overall lifespan. Ian Paul, PCWorld, "Newegg's selling a 500W Cooler Master 80 Plus Bronze certified power supply for only $17.60," 30 May 2018 In the coming weeks and months, their numbers will take on the familiar, astronomic bearing, and high-wattage power displays will offset the occasional bad nights. Robert O'connell, The Atlantic, "The Yankees’ Biggest Strength May Be Its Greatest Weakness," 10 Apr. 2018 The district has spare parts for the bogies including chains, motors drives, bearings and grease. James B. Nelson, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Miller Park roof delivers comfort for fans, pays dividends at the Brewers box office," 2 Apr. 2018 But even now, outside factors are beginning to emerge that could have a direct bearing on the tax levy proposal. Randy Tucker,, "SORTA running out of time to make decision on proposed sales tax levy," 18 June 2018 These scholars are concerned that Sperry’s study might lead people to believe that family income doesn’t have any bearing on a kid’s exposure to vocabulary, or that a language-rich home life isn’t important. Laura Mckenna, The Atlantic, "The Long, Contentious History of the ‘Word Gap’ Study," 15 June 2018 Uncertainty about the durability of first-quarter weaknesses will have a bearing on the ECB’s next big decision, which concerns when and how to bring a bond-buying stimulus program known as quantitative easing to a conclusion. Paul Hannon, WSJ, "Eurozone Industrial Production Continues to Falter Ahead of Key ECB Meeting," 13 June 2018 Whether the late appeals to Knight will have any bearing on the stadium to come remains to be seen. Ken Goe,, "Opponents of Hayward Field 2.0 haven't given up the fight: Oregon track & field rundown," 30 May 2018

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

13th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Statistics for bearing

Last Updated

28 Aug 2018

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Time Traveler for bearing

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

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More Definitions for bearing



English Language Learners Definition of bearing

: the way in which a person moves, stands, or behaves

: a relation or connection

: a machine part in which another part turns or slides


bear·ing | \ ˈber-ing \

Kids Definition of bearing

1 : the manner in which a person carries or conducts himself or herself a man of kingly bearing

2 : a part of a machine in which another part turns

3 : the position or direction of one point with respect to another or to the compass

4 : a determination of position take a bearing

5 bearings plural : understanding of position or situation I lost my bearings.

6 : a relation or connection Personal feelings had no bearing on our decision.



Medical Definition of bearing 

: an object, surface, or point that supports

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