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bear

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verb [transitive] bear pronunciation in British English /beə(r)/
Word Forms
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present tense
I/you/we/theybear
he/she/itbears
present participlebearing
past tensebore
past participleborne
  1. 1
    [usually in negatives or questions] if you cannot bear something, you cannot accept or do it because it makes you very unhappy
    can’t bear doing something/to do something:

    Sue can’t bear to be parted from her baby daughter.

    I can’t bear seeing food thrown away.

    can hardly bear to do something:

    I could hardly bear to watch.

    can’t bear the thought/idea of:

    She couldn’t bear the thought of moving again.

    more than someone can bear:

    Being made a fool of in front of a roomful of people was more than he could bear.

    1. a.
      [usually in negatives or questions] if you cannot bear someone or something, you dislike them very much

      Most of her friends can’t bear her husband.

  2. 2
    formal to seem to be a particular kind of thing or to have particular qualities
    bear the hallmarks/signs/stamp of something:

    The incident bore all the hallmarks of a racist attack.

    1. b.
      to have features or qualities that show that something happened in the past
      bear the scars/marks of something:

      Many buildings in the town still bear the scars of the bombing.

  3. 3
    formal if something bears writing or a design, that writing or design is on it

    Every new coin bears a date.

    a blue banner bearing the words ‘Civil Rights March’

    bear someone’s signature:

    The letter bore the signature of her grandfather.

    1. a.
      formal to have a particular name or title

      The city still bears the French name of Aix-la-Chapelle.

  4. 4
    literary to carry or take someone or something somewhere

    a coffin bearing the remains of an old man

    1. a.
      to support the weight of something

      The floorboards could not bear the weight of the piano.

    2. c.
      to carry or hold something, for example a weapon

      a missile-bearing warship

      bear arms (=carry weapons):

      Do you support the citizen’s right to bear arms?

  5. 5
    formal to give birth to a child

    The ewes usually bear twin lambs.

    bear someone something:

    She bore him three sons.

    1. a.
      if a plant bears flowers or fruit, it produces them

      The new stems bear the flowers.

  6. 6
    to have a particular feeling towards someone
    bear a grudge (=to continue to dislike someone because of a past event):

    I hope you don’t still bear a grudge against me.

    bear someone something:

    He had caused untold suffering, but they bore him no bitterness.

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