bear·​ing | \ ˈber-iŋ How to pronounce bearing (audio) \

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 onfacts 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 About 79,000 adolescents and young adults of child-bearing age are diagnosed with cancer each year, according to The National Cancer Institute. Andrea K. Mcdaniels,, "Gov. Hogan signs bill requiring insurers to pay for preserving eggs and sperm of cancer patients," 15 May 2018 That means semifinal week in most leagues in a week filled with (actual) games with (actual) playoff bearing, a sense of anything being possible fills the air. Brandon C. Williams, The Denver Post, "Fantasy football Week 15 players to start and sit: Phillip Lindsay, Jameis Winston," 11 Dec. 2019 More sophisticated designs have these blades connected to a blade bearing, which can adjust the blades angle of attack to get the most possible wind. David Grossman, Popular Mechanics, "How Wind Turbines Could Become More Efficient," 18 Oct. 2019 Such profiling has no bearing in reality, of course. Yomi Kazeem, Quartz Africa, "Nigeria’s harassed tech industry is crowdfunding for a legal campaign against a rogue police unit," 30 Sep. 2019 Many repair facilities recommend a thorough cleaning of brake parts and repacking of bearings, particularly for rear-drive vehicles. Jay R. Jordan, Houston Chronicle, "How to find your towed car after Tropical Storm Imelda," 20 Sep. 2019 Newton was full weight bearing, with no limp and walking in the boot without crutches, so that means team doctors were not worried about a complete ligament tear. San Diego Union-Tribune, "Cam Newton foot injury seems mild," 23 Aug. 2019 Ultimately, the whole impeachment affair had just a modest bearing on the vital question of who would hold power in the South. Michael Kazin, The New Republic, "The Impossibility of Impeachment," 10 June 2019 To find the extra grunt for JCW models, Mini modified the crankshaft, installed new main bearings, a larger turbocharger, and JCW-specific pistons and connecting rods, and tweaked the compression ratio. Annie White, Car and Driver, "The 2020 Mini JCW Countryman and Clubman Get More Power," 14 May 2019

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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Time Traveler for bearing

Time Traveler

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

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Last Updated

27 Feb 2020

Cite this Entry

“Bearing.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 27 Feb. 2020.

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More Definitions for bearing


How to pronounce bearing (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of bearing

formal : the way in which a person moves, stands, or behaves
formal : a relation or connection
technical : 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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