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 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 contract states Self cannot be fired with cause for violations that occurred before this new deal, meaning whatever penalties given the program by the NCAA will have no bearing on his contract status. Erick Smith, USA TODAY, "Bill Self, Kansas agree to lifetime contract in men's basketball," 2 Apr. 2021 Kadlec and Emergent previously told The Post that Kadlec’s past work for Emergent had no bearing on the firm’s government contracts. Washington Post, "Emergent plant that ruined Johnson & Johnson vaccine doses had prior FDA violations," 2 Apr. 2021 Those future plans have no bearing on Oscar eligibility, however. James Grebey, Vulture, "Is the Snyder Cut Eligible for Any Academy Awards?," 29 Mar. 2021 Foreign government pensions and VA benefits are excluded from the definition of government pensions for GPO purposes so those will have no bearing on your US Social Security widow's benefits. Laurence Kotlikoff, Forbes, "Ask Larry: Can I Still Get Social Security Divorced Spousal Benefits At 62?," 28 Feb. 2021 While the civil suit is not unexpected, the criminal charges pending against Mr. Polevich have no bearing on the civil case. Ashley Iasimone, Billboard, "Nicki Minaj's Mother Files $150M Lawsuit Against Driver Charged in Father's Hit-and-Run Death," 20 Mar. 2021 This classic, high rise silhouette has a rip detail at the seat for the slightest wink of skin bearing. Nicola Fumo, Forbes, "40 Of The Best Jeans For Women, In Every Size And Style," 10 Mar. 2021 The study importantly describes how the events occurring should not have any bearing on the quality of the year-end accounts. Joseph Brazel, Forbes, "Can An Event During The Year-End Closing Process Impair A Company’s Financial Reporting Quality?," 1 Mar. 2021 Manager Torey Lovullo said the assignment has no bearing on who will start on Opening Day for the club. Nick Piecoro, The Arizona Republic, "Tyler Clippard hopes to bring leadership, durability to D-Backs’ bullpen," 27 Feb. 2021

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

14th 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 14th century

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Statistics for bearing

Last Updated

6 Apr 2021

Cite this Entry

“Bearing.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 18 Apr. 2021.

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More Definitions for bearing



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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