bear

noun, often attributive
\ ˈber How to pronounce bear (audio) \
plural bears

Definition of bear

 (Entry 1 of 3)

1 or plural bear : any of a family (Ursidae of the order Carnivora) of large heavy mammals of America and Eurasia that have long shaggy hair, rudimentary tails, and plantigrade feet and feed largely on fruit, plant matter, and insects as well as on flesh
2 : a surly, uncouth, burly, or shambling person a tall, friendly bear of a man
3 [ probably from the proverb about selling the bearskin before catching the bear ] : one that sells securities or commodities in expectation of a price decline — compare bull
4 : something difficult to do or deal with the oven is a bear to clean

bear

verb
\ ˈber How to pronounce bear (audio) \
bore\ ˈbȯr How to pronounce bore (audio) \; borne also born\ ˈbȯrn How to pronounce born (audio) \; bearing

Definition of bear (Entry 2 of 3)

transitive verb

1a : to accept or allow oneself to be subjected to especially without giving way couldn't bear the pain I can't bear seeing you cry
b : to call for as suitable or essential it bears watching
c : assume, accept
d : to support the weight of : sustain
e : to hold above, on top, or aloft
f : to admit of : allow
2a : to move while holding up and supporting (something)
b : to have as a feature or characteristic bears a likeness to her grandmother
c : to be equipped or furnished with (something)
d : to have as an identification bore the name of John
e : to hold in the mind or emotions bear malice
f : behave, conduct bearing himself well
g : to give as testimony bear false witness
i : lead, escort
j : render, give
3a : to give birth to
b : to produce as yield
c(1) : to permit growth of
(2) : contain oil-bearing shale
4 : thrust, press

intransitive verb

1a : to go or incline in an indicated direction
b : to extend in a direction indicated or implied
c : to be situated : lie
d : to become directed
e : to force one's way
2a : apply, pertain often used with on or upon facts bearing on the question
b : to exert influence or force
3 : to produce fruit : yield
4 : to support a weight or strain often used with up
bear a hand
: to join in and help out
bear arms
1 : to carry or possess arms
2 : to serve as a soldier
bear fruit
: to come to satisfying fruition, production, or development : to produce a desired result or reward
bear in mind
: to think of (something) especially as a warning : remember
bear with
: to be indulgent, patient, or forbearing with (someone)

Bear

geographical name
\ ˈber How to pronounce Bear (audio) \

Definition of Bear (Entry 3 of 3)

river 350 miles (563 kilometers) long in northern Utah, southwestern Wyoming, and southeastern Idaho flowing to Great Salt Lake

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Other Words from bear

Noun

bearlike \ ˈber-​ˌlīk How to pronounce bearlike (audio) \ adjective

Synonyms for bear

Synonyms: Noun

beast, chore, headache, job, killer, labor

Synonyms: Verb

birth [chiefly dialect], deliver, drop, have, mother, produce

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Choose the Right Synonym for bear

Verb

bear, suffer, endure, abide, tolerate, stand mean to put up with something trying or painful. bear usually implies the power to sustain without flinching or breaking. forced to bear a tragic loss suffer often suggests acceptance or passivity rather than courage or patience in bearing. suffering many insults endure implies continuing firm or resolute through trials and difficulties. endured years of rejection abide suggests acceptance without resistance or protest. cannot abide their rudeness tolerate suggests overcoming or successfully controlling an impulse to resist, avoid, or resent something injurious or distasteful. refused to tolerate such treatment stand emphasizes even more strongly the ability to bear without discomposure or flinching. unable to stand teasing

Usage Note on Bear

Verb

There is considerable confusion between the verbs bear and bare. It may help to remember that the verb bare has only one meaning: "to uncover," as in "bare your shoulders" and "a dog baring its teeth." All other uses of the verb are for bear: "bearing children," "the right to bear arms," "bearing up under the stress/weight," "can't bear the thought," "bear south," "it bears repeating."

There is occasional confusion between bear and bare in adjectival uses (as in "he rubbed his bear arms"), but bear is properly a noun and only used like an adjective in the financial phrase bear market. All other uses refer to the state of being uncovered or naked and should therefore be bare: "bare necessities," "bare essentials," "bare arms," "bare bones," "bare-knuckle," and so on.

Examples of bear in a Sentence

Noun

Traffic in Knoxville, Tennessee, can be a bear anytime, but in late spring the slowdowns on Neyland Drive are often caused by Canada geese. — Joelle Anthony, Audubon, November-December 2004 True, the rally has been around the corner since Memorial Day. But bears have dominated market sentiment for so long since the Federal Reserve Board raised interest rates last February, that traders feel the market is headed for a major tectonic shift … — Anthony Ramirez, New York Times, 19 July 1994 Hikers in the woods are far more likely to wear a bell to deter bears than to take precautions against bees. But bears kill two to seven people in North America annually, bee stings kill 600 to 900. — Allan J. Davison, Chemical & Engineering News, 15 Mar. 1993 a mother bear and her cubs The bears outnumbered the bulls on Wall Street today.

Verb

A stone slab bearing 3,000-year-old writing previously unknown to scholars has been found in the Mexican state of Veracruz, and archaeologists say it is an example of the oldest script ever discovered in the Western Hemisphere. — John Noble Wilford, New York Times, 15 Sept. 2006 Large public buildings often bear only a loose resemblance to what was originally in the minds of the architects who designed them. Things get cut back to save money; somebody has second thoughts about the way part of the building will function; it takes so long to get public approval that the original idea starts to seem dated … — Paul Goldberger, New Yorker, 17 Jan. 2002 The most famous work of Louis Pasteur (1822-1895), of course, was purifying milk with the process that now bears his name. — Brendan Miniter, American Enterprise, September/October 1998 In so-called parking schemes, securities aren't carried on the books of the true owner but are temporarily sold to someone else with the understanding that the seller will continue to bear any risk of loss and reap any profits. — James B. Stewart, New Yorker, 8 Mar. 1993 As a science fiction buff, many years ago, I remember being particularly fascinated by tales of genetic surgery. Imagine the surgeon … peering through the electron microscope, repairing the sickle-cell gene and returning the ovum to its mother, who would then bear a normal child. — Richard Novick, New York Times Book Review, 15 Feb. 1987 The sight of Niña already there, snugged down as if she had been at home a month, finished Martín Alonso Pinzón. Older than Columbus, ill from the hardships of the voyage, mortified by his snub from the Sovereigns, he could bear no more. — Samuel Eliot Morison, The European Discovery of America, 1974 a symphony that can bear comparison with Beethoven's best The company agreed to bear the costs. The criminals must bear full responsibility for the deaths of these innocent people. Who will bear the blame for this tragedy?
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

The Placer County Sheriff’s Office’s video of the rescue shows the deputies carefully opening the lid of the dumpster and placing a ladder inside the box for the bear cub to use. Kelli Bender, PEOPLE.com, "California Sheriff's Office Helps Bear Family Rescue Cub Trapped in Dumpster," 29 Aug. 2019 Police arrested at least 13 people and seized metal poles, bear spray and other weapons Saturday as hundreds of far-right protesters and anti-fascist counter-demonstrators swarmed downtown Portland, Oregon. Gillian Flaccus, chicagotribune.com, "Police arrest at least 13 people and seize metal poles, bear spray as right-wing groups and counter-protesters swarm downtown Portland," 17 Aug. 2019 Whether Tagovailoa makes a similar adjustment bears watching. Rainer Sabin | Rsabin@al.com, al.com, "Will Nick Saban rein in Tua Tagovailoa this season?," 23 July 2019 Items far less dangerous than fireworks—such as bear spray—have caused multiple accidents inside Amazon warehouses, where workers are sometimes required to move and pack hundreds of items an hour. Louise Matsakis, WIRED, "Why You Still Can’t Buy Fireworks on Amazon," 1 July 2019 French Canadian composer and musician Julien Gauthier died tragically last week while on a camping expedition in Canada’s Northwest Territories after he was mauled to death by a bear who entered his campsite in the middle of the night. Ashley Boucher, PEOPLE.com, "Composer and Musician Julien Gauthier Dragged from His Tent and Mauled to Death by a Bear," 21 Aug. 2019 Eagles would no longer have their own country, mice were not people with underground houses ready to shape-shift into human hunters, and a curl of ermine hair couldn’t transform into a live ermine and then a bear. Bathsheba Demuth, The New Yorker, "When the Soviet Union Freed the Arctic from Capitalist Slavery," 15 Aug. 2019 The 3 foot-long creature, which resembles a small bear with a bushy tail, hunts across a vast range. Emily Holden, WIRED, "3 Animals Hurt By the New Endangered Species Act," 14 Aug. 2019 This is a terrible heuristic if you’re being chased by a bear. Jonah Goldberg, National Review, "Putting America’s Problems in Perspective," 9 Aug. 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

For his own take on the material, Iannucci chose to go the colorblind route, casting Patel, who was born and raised in London to Gujarati Indian Hindu parents, and filling out his ensemble with a diverse group of actors. Nigel Smith, PEOPLE.com, "Dev Patel Accidentally 'UFC Elbowed' Tilda Swinton While Making Movie: 'Her Teeth Are Intact'," 7 Sep. 2019 Most of the cost to fortify beaches is borne by local, state and federal taxpayers and managed through the Army Corps of Engineers. Daniel Cusick, Scientific American, "Dorian Takes A Swipe at Beach Replenishment Projects," 6 Sep. 2019 He was born and raised in the Westbury community on the southwest side of Houston and attended the High School For Performing and Visual Arts. Adam Coleman, Houston Chronicle, "Houston-area high school football media poll: Week 2," 3 Sep. 2019 Now 25, Jenkins was born in St. Petersburg, Fla., and raised in a less-than-ideal, hardly traditional setting. Jeff Miller, Los Angeles Times, "Rayshawn Jenkins has gone from ‘knucklehead’ to maybe Chargers’ most exciting athlete," 3 Sep. 2019 Webb was born in 1946 in Oklahoma, and raised in Wichita Falls, Texas, where his father was enrolled in J. Frank Norris’s Bible Baptist Seminary. Longreads, "The Story of Country Music’s Great Songwriting Duo," 3 Sep. 2019 Shirley was born and raised during the Great Depression in Buffalo, NY. sun-sentinel.com, "Deaths in South Florida: 9/1," 1 Sep. 2019 The federal government owns more than a quarter of the land in this country, primarily in the American West, where I was born and raised and have fished, hunted, hiked, and lived for most of my life. William Perry Pendley, The Denver Post, "William Perry Pendley: Rebutting a popular myth about my position on public lands," 30 Aug. 2019 Most fur-bearing animals have never been domesticated, which makes raising a fox for the trim of a parka inherently crueler than aborting a karakul lamb for a wool cap, animal rights activists say. Glendale News-Press, "As California considers a fur ban, many in L.A. cling to their minks," 29 Aug. 2019

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

Noun

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Verb

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 2a

History and Etymology for bear

Noun

Middle English bere, from Old English bera; akin to Old English brūn brown — more at brown

Verb

Middle English beren to carry, bring forth, from Old English beran; akin to Old High German beran to carry, Latin ferre, Greek pherein

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Learn More about bear

Statistics for bear

Last Updated

12 Sep 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for bear

The first known use of bear was before the 12th century

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More Definitions for bear

bear

noun

Financial Definition of bear

What It Is

A bear has a negative outlook on the market (belief that the value of an asset or market will decrease).

How It Works

Investors generally fall into two mindsets: those with an optimistic outlook who foresee prosperity, called "bulls," and those with a pessimistic outlook who foresee decline, called "bears."

A bearish investor will alter their portfolio strategy by liquidating securities they believe are going to lose value in the foreseeable future. A bullish investor, on the other hand, believes securities will continue to rise and would continue to invest long in securities.

Depending on an investor's outlook, they could change from a bear to a bull or vice-versa.

Why It Matters

Market perceptions can affect securities prices depending on how many bulls or bears there are in the market. This is best expressed by the bull/bear ratio. In either case, bulls and bears can impact the direction of market movements as a result of the investments they make.

If you're having difficulties remembering the which animal describes what, just remember: A bull attacks by thrusting his horns in an upward movement, while a bear attacks by swiping his paw in a downward movement. Therefore, if the market goes up, it's a bull market; it the market trends down, it's a bear market.

For more details on the history of these words, read The Quirky And Brutal Origins Of The Terms 'Bear' And 'Bull.'

Source: Investing Answers

bear

noun

English Language Learners Definition of bear

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: any one of a group of large and heavy animals that have thick hair and sharp claws and that can stand on two legs like a person
finance : a person who expects the price of stocks to go down and who sells them to avoid losing money
US, informal : something that is difficult to do or deal with

bear

verb

English Language Learners Definition of bear (Entry 2 of 2)

: to accept or endure (something)
: to be worthy of (something) : to deserve or allow (something)
: to assume or accept (something, such as cost or responsibility)

bear

noun
\ ˈber How to pronounce bear (audio) \
plural bears

Kids Definition of bear

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 or plural bear : a large heavy mammal with long shaggy hair and a very short tail
2 : a person resembling a bear in size or behavior a large bear of a man He acted like a grumpy old bear.

bear

verb
bore\ ˈbȯr \; borne\ ˈbȯrn \; bearing

Kids Definition of bear (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : support entry 1 sense 1 bear weight
2 : to move while holding up and supporting : carry They came bearing gifts.
3 : to hold in the mind She bears a grudge.
4 : to put up with I can't bear the suspense.
5 : to assume or accept bear the blame
6 : to have as a feature or characteristic She bears a resemblance to her sister.
7 : give birth to bear children
8 : produce entry 1 sense 1 trees bearing fruit bear interest
9 : to move or lie in the indicated direction Bear right at the fork.
10 : to have a relation to the matter at hand These facts don't bear on the question.
bear down on
: to push or lean down on Bear down hard on your pencil.
bear in mind
: to think of especially as a warning Bear in mind that you only get one chance.
bear up
: to have strength or courage She's bearing up under the stress.
bear with
: to be patient with Bear with me.

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\ ˈba(ə)r, ˈbe(ə)r How to pronounce bear (audio) \
bore\ ˈbō(ə)r, ˈbȯ(ə)r How to pronounce bore (audio) \; borne\ ˈbō(ə)rn, ˈbȯ(ə)rn How to pronounce borne (audio) \ also born\ ˈbȯ(ə)rn How to pronounce born (audio) \; bearing

Medical Definition of bear

: to give birth to

bear

verb
\ ˈbar How to pronounce bear (audio) \
bore\ ˈbōr How to pronounce bore (audio) \; borne\ ˈbōrn \ also born

Legal Definition of bear

transitive verb

1 : to physically carry (as an object or message) the right of the people to keep and bear armsU.S. Constitution amend. II
2 : yield the stock will bear a dividend
3a : to admit of : allow whatever price the market will bear
b : assume, accept you bear legal responsibility for him

intransitive verb

: to relate or have relevance will admit evidence bearing on her defense

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More from Merriam-Webster on bear

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with bear

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for bear

Spanish Central: Translation of bear

Nglish: Translation of bear for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of bear for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about bear

Comments on bear

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