views updated May 23 2018

bear1 / be(ə)r/ • v. (past bore / bôr/ ; past part. borne / bôrn/ ) [tr.] 1. (of a person) carry: he was bearing a tray of brimming glasses. ∎  have or display as a visible mark or feature: a small boat bearing a white flag. ∎  (bear oneself) carry or conduct oneself in a particular manner: she bore herself with dignity.2. support: walls that cannot bear a stone vault. ∎  take responsibility for: no one likes to bear the responsibility for such decisions. ∎  be able to accept or stand up to: it is doubtful whether either of these distinctions would bear scrutiny.3. endure (an ordeal or difficulty): she bore the pain stoically. ∎  manage to tolerate (a situation or experience): she could hardly bear his sarcasm I cannot bear to see you hurt ∎  (cannot bear someone/something) strongly dislike: I can't bear caviar.4. give birth to (a child): she bore six daughters his wife had borne him a son. ∎  (of a tree or plant) produce (fruit or flowers): a squash that bears fruit shaped like cucumbers.5. [intr.] turn and proceed in a specified direction: bear left and follow the old road.PHRASES: bear arms1. carry firearms.2. wear or display a coat of arms.bear the burden of suffer the consequences of.bear fruit fig. yield positive results: plans for power-sharing may be about to bear fruit.bear someone malice (or ill will) wish someone harm.bear the stamp of be clearly identifiable with: their tactics bear the stamp of Soviet military training.bear witness (or testimony) to testify to: little is left to bear witness to the past greatness of the city.bring to bear1. muster and use to effect: she had reservations about how much influence she could bring to bear.2. aim (a weapon): bringing his rifle to bear on a distant target.does not bear thinking about is too terrible to contemplate.PHRASAL VERBS: bear down (of a woman in labor) exert downward pressure in order to push the baby out. ∎  put pressure on someone or something: he bore down and allowed the Bears only one more run.bear down on move quickly toward someone, in a purposeful or an intimidating manner.bear on be relevant to (something): two kinds of theories that bear on literary studies. ∎  be a burden on (someone): a tax that will bear heavily on poorer households.bear something out support or confirm something: this assumption is not borne out by any evidence.bear with be patient or tolerant with.bear2 • n. 1. a large, heavy, mostly omnivorous mammal of the family Ursidae that walks on the soles of its feet, with thick fur and a very short tail. ∎  a teddy bear. ∎ inf. a rough, unmannerly, or uncouth person. ∎  a large, heavy, cumbersome man: a lumbering bear of a man. ∎  (the Bear) the constellation Ursa Major or Ursa Minor. 2. Stock Market a person who forecasts that prices of stocks or commodities will fall, esp. a person who sells shares hoping to buy them back later at a lower price: [as adj.] bear markets. Often contrasted with bull1 (sense 2 of the noun ). PHRASES: loaded for bear inf. fully prepared for any eventuality, typically a confrontation or challenge.


views updated Jun 11 2018

bear1 a bear is the type of an uncouth and savage creature. In medieval usage, also taken as symbolizing sloth and gluttony.

A bear is the emblem of St Gall, a 7th-century Irish monk and hermit living in what is now Switzerland, and the Russian St Seraphim (1759–1833), who while living as a hermit cared for bears and other wild animals.

From the late 18th century, the Bear has been used to denote Russia.

bear and ragged staff the crest of the Earls of Warwick, showing a bear with a staff having projecting stumps or knobs; the bear is said to derive from Arthgal, a legendary Earl of Warwick, who because his name meant ‘bear’ took the animal as his badge; the ragged staff refers to the story that his son killed a giant with a young ash tree, which he tore up by the roots.
bear garden originally (like the Paris of Chancery) a place set apart for baiting of bears with dogs for sport, and such areas were also often used for other rough sports. The term is now used for a scene of uproar and confusion.
bear leader in the 18th century, a humorous name for a rich young man's travelling tutor, seen as one managing a somewhat uncouth charge.


views updated Jun 08 2018


BEAR (Heb. דֹּב; dov). In ancient times the Syrian brown bear, Ursus arctos syriacus, had its habitat within the borders of Ereẓ Israel; it was found in the forests of Lebanon until World War i and is still occasionally reported in Lebanon and northern Syria. The bear is omnivorous, and when driven by hunger, it preys on large animals, including the ox or cow (cf. Isa. 11:7). In the Bible the bear is portrayed as an animal dangerous to man, like the lion. Especially emphasized is the danger of a (female) bear bereaved of its cubs (ii Sam. 17:8; Hos. 13:8). This was a frequent occurrence as the cubs were taken from the dam to be trained. The bear was common in the period of the Mishnah, which forbids their sale to Gentiles (Av. Zar. 16a). One of the miracles ascribed to R. *Ḥanina b. Dosa was that after being attacked by bears, each of his goats came home with a bear on its horns (Ta'an. 25a). Because the second world kingdom of Daniel 7 was identified as the Persian one, the fact that it is represented by a bear (Dan. 7:5) is explained by the observation that the Persians "eat and drink like the bear, are fat like the bear, are hairy like the bear, and are restless like the bear" (Kid. 72a).


Lewysohn, Zool, 99; Tristram, Nat Hist, 40–49; F.S. Bodenheimer, Ha-Ḥai be-Arẓot ha-Mikra, 2 (1956), index; J. Feliks, Animal World of the Bible (1962), 39. add. bibliography: Feliks, Ha-Ẓome'aḥ, 220.

[Jehuda Feliks]


views updated May 18 2018

bear2 in Stock Exchange usage, a person who sells shares hoping to buy them back again later at a lower price. The term (applied to the stock thus sold) is recorded from the early 18th century, and was common at the time of the South of Chancery. The dealer in this kind of stock was known as the bearskin jobber, and it seems likely that the original phrase was ‘sell the bearskin’, and that it derived from the proverbial advice don't sell the skin till you have caught the bear.

The associated bull is of later date, and may perhaps have been suggested by the existence of bear in this sense.
bear market a market in which share prices are falling, encouraging selling.


views updated May 21 2018

bear2 carry; give birth to. OE. str. vb. beran = OS., OHG. beran, ON. bera, Goth. bairan, f. Gmc. *ber- :- IE. *bher-, as in Skr. bhárati, Gr. phérein, L. ferre. The mod. pt. bore dates from c.1400, but did not gen. supersede bare till after 1600; for the pp. See BORN, BORNE.


views updated May 29 2018

bear Large, omnivorous mammal with a stocky body, thick coarse fur and a short tail. Bears are native to the Americas and Eurasia. The sun bear is the smallest species, the Kodiak brown bear the largest. Bears have poor sight and only fair hearing, but an excellent sense of smell. They kill prey with a blow from their powerful forepaws. In cold regions, most bears become dormant or hibernate in winter. Length: 1.3–3m (4–10ft); weight: 45–725kg (100–1600lb). Order Carnivora; family Ursidae; there are approximately nine species.


views updated May 14 2018

bear3 bear and forbear a recommendation to patience and tolerance recorded in English from the late 16th century. In classical Greek, the Phrygian Stoic philosopher Epictetus (ad c.50–120) has, ‘be patient and endure.’


views updated Jun 08 2018

bear1 mammal of the family Ursidae. OE. bera, OHG. bero (G. bär) :- WGmc. *beran-.