bearing

noun bear·ing
Updated on: 15 Nov 2017

Definition of bearing

1 : the manner in which one behaves or comports oneself : the manner in which one bears (see 2bear 2f) oneself
  • a man of dignified bearing
  • … a confident and cheerful bearing.
  • —Sheridan LeFanu
2 a : 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
3 a : 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 1field 3c)
  • The lion is a common bearing.
6 a : 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 question
  • They 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

Examples of bearing in a Sentence

  1. a man of military bearing

  2. these new facts have some bearing on the case

Recent Examples of bearing from the Web

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.

First Known Use of bearing

13th century

Synonym Discussion of 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


BEARING Defined for English Language Learners

bearing

noun

Definition of bearing for English Language Learners

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

  • : a relation or connection

  • : a machine part in which another part turns or slides


BEARING Defined for Kids

bearing

noun bear·ing \ ˈber-ing \

Definition of bearing for Students

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 Dictionary

bearing

noun bear·ing

medical Definition of bearing

: an object, surface, or point that supports


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