Definition of bear verb from the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary



, borne

accept/deal with

1 [transitive] (used with can/could in negative sentences and questions) to be able to accept and deal with something unpleasant synonym stand bear somethingThe pain was almost more than he could bear.She couldn't bear the thought of losing him. bear doing somethingI can't bear having cats in the house.He can't bear being laughed at. bear to do somethingHe can't bear to be laughed at.How can you bear to eat that stuff? bear someone doing somethingI can't bear you doing that.

be responsible for something

2 [transitive] bear something (formal) to take responsibility for somethingShe bore the responsibility for most of the changes.Do parents have to bear the whole cost of tuition fees?Tuition fees are usually borne by the parents.You shouldn't have to bear the blame for other people's mistakes.

not be suitable

3 [transitive] not bear to not be suitable for something bear somethingHer later work does not bear comparison with her earlier novels (= because it is not nearly as good).The plan won't bear close inspection (= it will be found to be unacceptable when carefully examined). bear doing somethingThe joke doesn't bear repeating (= because it is not funny or may offend people).His sufferings don't bear thinking about (= because they are so terrible).

negative feeling

4 [transitive] to have a feeling, especially a negative feeling bear something (against/toward someone)He bears no resentment toward them. bear someone somethingShe bore him no ill will.

support weight

5 [transitive] bear something to support the weight of someone or somethingThe ice is too thin to bear your weight.The weight of the bridge is borne by steel beams.


6 [transitive] bear something (formal) to show something; to carry something so that it can be seenThe document bore her signature.He was badly wounded in the war and still bears the scars.She bears little resemblance to (= is not much like) her mother.The title of the essay bore little relation to (= was not much connected with) the contents.


7 [transitive] bear something (formal) to have a particular namea family that bore an ancient and honored name


8 [transitive] bear someone/something (old-fashioned or formal) to carry someone or something, especially while movingthree kings bearing gifts


9 [transitive] bear yourself well, etc. (formal) to move, behave, or act in a particular wayHe bears himself (= stands, walks, etc.) proudly, like a soldier.She bore herself with dignity throughout the funeral.


10 [transitive] (formal) to give birth to a child bear somethingShe was not able to bear children. bear someone somethingShe had borne him six sons.

of trees/plants

11 [transitive] bear something (formal) to produce flowers or fruit


12 [intransitive] bear (to the) left, north, etc. to go or turn in the direction mentionedWhen you get to the fork in the road, bear right.

bear arms

(old use) to be a soldier; to fightbear arms

bear fruit

to have a successful result
bear fruit

bear hard, heavily, severely, etc. on someone

(formal) to be a cause of difficulty or suffering to someoneTaxes bear heavily on us all.bear hard, heavily, severely, etc. on

bear/keep someone/something in mind


bear/keep in mind that…

to remember someone or something; to remember or consider that…
bear in mindkeep in mind

bear, take, etc. the brunt of something

to receive the main force of something unpleasant
Schools will bear the brunt of cuts in government spending.bear, take, etc. the brunt of

bear/give witness (to something)

to provide evidence of the truth of something
The crowd of mourners at his funeral bore witness to the public's great affection for him.bear witnessbear witness togive witnessgive witness to

bring something to bear (on someone/something)

(formal) to use energy, pressure, influence, etc. to try to achieve something or make someone do somethingWe must bring all our energies to bear upon the task.Pressure was brought to bear on us to finish the work on time.bring to bearbring to bear on

grin and bear it

(only used as an infinitive and in orders) to accept pain, disappointment, or a difficult situation without complainingThere's nothing we can do about it. We'll just have to grin and bear it.grin and bear it

have a cross to bear

to have a difficult problem that makes you worried or unhappy but that you have to deal with
We all have our crosses to bear.have a cross to bear

bear down on someone/something

1 to press on someone or somethingBear down on it with all your strength so it doesn't move.2 to move quickly toward someone or something in a determined or threatening waybear down on

bear on something

(formal) to relate to something synonym affectThese are matters that bear on the welfare of the community.bear on

bear someone/something out

to show that someone is right or that something is trueThe other witnesses will bear me out.The other witnesses will bear out what I say.bear out

bear up (against/under something)

to remain as cheerful as possible during a difficult timeHe's bearing up well under the strain of losing his job.bear upbear up againstbear upbear up under

bear with someone/something

to be patient with someone or somethingShe's under a lot of strain. Just bear with her.If you will bear with me (= be patient and listen to me) a little longer, I'll answer your question.bear with
Usage noteUsage note: hatedislike can't stand despise can't bear loathe detestThese words all mean to have a strong feeling of dislike for someone or something.hate to have a strong feeling of dislike for someone or something note Although hate is generally a very strong verb, it is also commonly used in spoken or informal English to talk about people or things that you dislike in a less important way, for example a particular type of food: He hates violence in any form. I've always hated cabbage.dislike (somewhat formal) to not like someone or something note Dislike is a somewhat formal word; it is less formal, and more usual, to say that you don't like someone or something, especially in spoken English: I don't like it when you call me so late at night.can't stand (somewhat informal) used to emphasize that you really do not like someone or something: I can't stand his brother. She couldn't stand to be kept waiting.despise to dislike and have no respect for someone or something: He despised himself for being so cowardly.can't bear used to say that you dislike something so much that you cannot accept or deal with it: I can't bear the thought of being without you.can't stand or can't bear?In many cases you can use either expression, but can't bear is stronger and more formal than can't stand.loathe (formal) to hate someone or something very much: They loathe each other.note Loathe is generally an even stronger verb than hate, but it can also be used more informally to say that you “really don't like” something: I loathe country music.detest (somewhat formal) to hate someone or something very much: They absolutely detest each other.patternsI hate/dislike/can't stand/can't bear/loathe/detest doing somethingI hate/can't stand to do somethingI hate/dislike/can't stand/can't bear it when…I really hate/dislike/can't stand/despise/can't bear/detest someone/somethingI absolutely hate/can't stand/loathe/detest someone/something