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1. Literally, to produce fruit, as of certain trees and plants. Now that the tree in our backyard is bearing fruit, the kids love picking apples from it.
2. By extension, to yield desired results. Donna is convinced that this plan will bear fruit if we just keep working on it, but it's been a year—the rest of us are officially skeptical.
1. Lit. [for a plant or tree] to yield fruit. Our apple tree didn't bear fruit this year.
2. Fig. to yield results. I hope your new plan bears fruit. We've had many good ideas, but none of them has borne fruit.
Yield results, have a favorable outcome, as in This new idea of his is bound to bear fruit. This metaphoric term, first recorded in 1879, transfers the production of fruit by a tree or plant to other kinds of useful yield.
COMMON If an action bears fruit, it produces good results. The strategy of concentrating the company's efforts on a smaller range of businesses is now beginning to bear fruit. It remains to be seen whether the economic reforms will bear fruit.
1. n. a strange person. (Now overwhelmed by sense 2) Ted is such a fruit.
2. and fruiter n. a homosexual male. (Usually rude and derogatory.) Bob thinks that you-know-who is a fruit.