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Definition of bear plural bears
November 12, 2017

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

[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

— bearlike play \-ˌlīk\ adjective

See bear defined for English-language learners

See bear defined for kids
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Examples of bear in a Sentence

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.

Recent Examples of bear from the Web

But in reality, the bear got startled by the guide’s movement and ran away.

caitlin morton, CNT, “Norway Fines Tour Guide $1,500 for Scaring a Polar Bear,” 31 Aug. 2017
To be sure, bears on the election are still in the minority.

min jeong lee, Bloomberg.com, “Skeptics Question Abe Election Joy as Topix Hits Decade High,” 18 Oct. 2017
Haribo, the German gummy bear maker that plans to build a large factory in Kenosha County, is under fire for alleged mistreatment of workers and animals by its suppliers.

rick romell, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, “Gummy bear maker Haribo under fire for treatment of workers by its suppliers,” 27 Oct. 2017

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.
Origin and Etymology of bear

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

bear Synonyms
chore, beast, headache, job, killer, labor
Related Words
drudgery, grind, heavy lifting, lucubration; effort, strain, sweat; burden, load, weight; bother, nuisance, trouble
Near Antonyms
breeze, child’s play, cinch, duck soup, kid stuff, setup, snap
Other Mammals Terms

dormouse, dugong, gibbon, grimalkin, sable, stoat, ungulate, vole
2 bear
verb \ ˈber \
Definition of bear
bore play \ˈbȯr\; borne also born play \ˈbȯrn\; bearing
transitive verb
1 a :to move while holding up and supporting (something)
b :to be equipped or furnished with (something)
c :behave, conduct

bearing himself well

d :to have as a feature or characteristic

bears a likeness to her grandmother

e :to give as testimony

bear false witness

f :to have as an identification

bore the name of John

g :to hold in the mind or emotions

bear malice

h :disseminate
i :lead, escort
j :render, give
2 a :to give birth to
b :to produce as yield
c (1) :to permit growth of
(2) :contain

oil-bearing shale

3 a :to support the weight of :sustain
b :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

c :to call for as suitable or essential

it bears watching

d :to hold above, on top, or aloft
e :to admit of :allow
f :assume, accept
4 :thrust, press
intransitive verb
1 :to produce fruit :yield
2 a :to force one’s way
b :to extend in a direction indicated or implied
c :to be situated :lie
d :to become directed
e :to go or incline in an indicated direction
3 :to support a weight or strain —often used with up
4 a :to exert influence or force
b :apply, pertain —often used with on or upon

facts bearing on the question

— 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)

See bear defined for English-language learners
Examples of bear in a Sentence

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?

Recent Examples of bear from the Web

UK’s September loss to Florida was particularly hard to bear because of the Gators’ 31-year winning streak against the Wildcats and because two of their touchdowns had resulted from receivers being left uncovered.

tim sullivan, The Courier-Journal, “Last-minute loss a reckoning for flawed Kentucky | Tim Sullivan,” 5 Nov. 2017
When interviewed at East Chicago Police Departmnet on Oct. 18, Shelton told police he was born and raised in East Chicago and had come back to the area in February after living in Florida, the affidavit states.

becky jacobs, Post-Tribune, “Murder charge filed in death of man, 69, shot outside East Chicago job,” 20 Oct. 2017
None of that is easy, and what may be hardest to bear is the awareness that a country can sometimes look smaller than the people who serve it.

a.o. scott, New York Times, “Review: ‘Last Flag Flying’ Is a Starry, Somber and Comic War Movie,” 2 Nov. 2017

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.
Usage Note on bear

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.
Origin and Etymology of bear

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

bear Synonyms
birth [chiefly dialect], deliver, drop, have, mother, produce, give birth to, live with, lump (it), stand for, tough (it) out
disavow, disclaim, disown, repudiate
Related Words
labor; breed, multiply, propagate, reproduce, spawn; beget, father, generate, get, sire; calve, kid, kindle, kitten, litter, pup, whelp
Near Antonyms
abort, lose, miscarry
Synonym Discussion of bear
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

geographical name \ ˈber \
Definition of Bear
river 350 miles (563 kilometers) long in northern Utah, southwestern Wyoming, and southeastern Idaho flowing to Great Salt Lake
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 Defined for English Language Learners
Definition of bear for English Language Learners

: 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

: something that is difficult to do or deal with

Definition of bear for English Language Learners

: to accept or endure (something) ( US )

: to be worthy of (something) : to deserve or allow (something)

: to assume or accept (something, such as cost or responsibility)

BEAR Defined for Kids
1 bear
noun \ ˈber \
Definition of bear for Students
plural bears
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.
2 bear
Definition of bear for Students
bore \ˈbȯr\; borne \ˈbȯrn\; bearing
1 :1support 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 :1produce 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.

Medical Dictionary
transitive verb \ ˈba(ə)r, ˈbe(ə)r \
medical Definition of bear
bore play \ˈbō(ə)r, ˈbȯ(ə)r\; borne play \ˈbō(ə)rn, ˈbȯ(ə)rn\ also born play \ˈbȯ(ə)rn\; bearing
:to give birth to
Law Dictionary
verb \ ˈbar \
legal Definition of bear
bore play \ˈbōr\; borne \ˈbōrn\ also born
transitive verb
1 :to physically carry (as an object or message)

the right of the people to keep and bear arms—U.S. Constitution amend. II

2 :yield

the stock will bear a dividend

3 a :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

Learn More about bear

See 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

Seen and Heard

What made you want to look up bear? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).
doughty play

marked by fearless resolution

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veteran, Veterans Day “a former member of the armed forces”

referendum “submitting to a popular vote”

blowhard “braggart” or “windbag”

epistemic “of or relating to knowledge”

apoplectic “extremely enraged”

be apprenticed to
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