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Related to bearing: journal bearing, thrust bearing
find (one's) bearings
To recognize or determine one's orientation, position, or abilities relative to one's surroundings or situation. It took me a little while to find my bearings in the new office, but after a week, I felt as if I'd been working there for years. We need to get above the treeline if we're going to find our bearings and reach the campsite before dark.
lose (one's) bearings
To lose sight of or become unable to determine one's orientation, position, or abilities relative to one's surroundings or situation. Trying to find her way home through the woods in the dead of night, Sarah lost her bearings when the clouds obscured the stars overhead. I feel like I've been losing my bearings in life ever since I lost my job.
bear a grudge (against someone)
To remain angry with someone about past slights or misdeeds. Although our disagreement happened months ago, Lily still won't talk to me—clearly, she's bearing a grudge. My sister-in-law bore a grudge against me for years after she found out that I said her wedding dress was ugly.
To possess a weapon. The demonstration is in defense of the right to bear arms. We need to be careful, as some people in the crowd could be bearing arms.
bear down (on)
1. Literally, to press down hard on a surface or item. I bore down on the eraser, but I still couldn't fully erase my drawing. Really bear down on the bandage there—more pressure will slow the bleeding until we get to the hospital.
2. To put forth one's maximum effort toward something. If you want to get a passing grade this semester, you'll really need to bear down on your studies.
3. To move closer to someone or something, usually in an intimidating or frightening way. I'm going over the speed limit, so I have no idea why this car is bearing down on me. We ducked into a store to avoid the angry man who'd been bearing down on us.
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.
bear in mind (that)
To remember and consider something when making a decision or before taking action. This phrase is often used as an instruction. Before you ask for a raise, bear in mind that the company isn't doing well financially right now. Bearing in mind that you got excellent grades this semester, your father and I are willing to extend your curfew.
bear off (of something)
To turn or veer off of a road. This phrase is often given as a instruction to someone who is driving. Now bear off of this road and then take the highway entrance to the right.
bear (up)on (something)
To impact or affect something or someone. How does my lateness bear upon you? You weren't here on time either! Don't worry, our lawyers have told us that this information won't bear on the merger.
See also: bear
To support or prove a claim or idea. If you didn't do anything wrong, then the investigation will bear out your innocence.
bear testimony to (something)
To support or prove a claim or idea, often by one's (or something's) physical presence. If you didn't do anything wrong, then the investigation will bear testimony to that. The many students on campus these days bear testimony to the school's successful rebranding efforts. The beautiful homes and vibrant gardens bear testimony to the rebirth of this neighborhood.
bear the brunt (of something)
To suffer the worst part of an unpleasant or problematic situation. When our system crashed, the call center employees bore the brunt of our customers' anger. Because I came home late, my sister bore the brunt of our mother's frustration about her job.
To warrant one's attention. Because this situation is so fluid, it bears watching over the next few hours.
bear witness to (something)
To support or prove a claim or idea by one's (or something's) physical presence. The many students on campus these days bear witness to the school's successful rebranding efforts. The beautiful homes and vibrant gardens bear witness to the rebirth of this neighborhood.
beware of Greeks bearing gifts
Be skeptical of a present or kindness from an enemy. The phrase refers to the Trojan horse, a gift to the Trojans from which Greek soldiers emerged and conquered Troy. A: "I can't believe the opposing team made us cupcakes before the big game!" B: "Yeah, I'd beware of Greeks bearing gifts if I were you."
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.
bear something out
[for facts or evidence] to support or confirm a story or explanation. The facts don't bear this out. Her story bears out exactly what you said.
to need close, attentive observation or monitoring. This problem will bear watching. This is a very serious disease, and it will bear watching for further developments.
Beware of Greeks bearing gifts.
Prov. Do not trust an opponent who offers to do something nice for you. (A line from the story of the Trojan horse, as told in Vergil's Aeneid.) Jill: I can't believe Melanie brought me cookies today, when we've been fighting for weeks. Jane: Beware of Greeks bearing gifts. She probably has ulterior motives. When the rival company invited all his employees to a Christmas party, Tom's first impulse was to beware of Greeks bearing gifts, but then he upbraided himself for being paranoid.
have (some) bearing on something
to have relevance to something. (Note the use of no and any in the negative.) I know something that has some bearing on the issue you are discussing. This has no bearing on anything that will happen today. This doesn't have any bearing on all that. What bearing does John's decision have on the situation?
the knowledge of where one is; the knowledge of how one is oriented to one's immediate environment. (*Typically: get ~; find ~; have ~; lose ~; tell one ~.) After he fell, it took Ted a few minutes to get his bearings. Jean found her compass and got her bearings almost immediately.
See also: bearing
to carry weapons The court stated that the right of an individual to keep and bear arms is not guaranteed by the Second Amendment.
Usage notes: usually used in the phrases right to bear arms and keep and bear arms
to produce a result that is wanted or desired Some of the changes in the election laws are already bearing fruit.
Etymology: based on the idea that getting results is like getting fruit from a plant
bear out somethingalso bear something out
to support the truth of something Every opinion poll taken bears out our belief that a different jury would have reached a different verdict.
Usage notes: often used in the form borne out by: Her theories were not borne out by the research I did.
get your bearings
to feel sure of your abilities Lonely and upset, she moved in with her parents to try to get her bearings.
Usage notes: the opposite meaning is expressed by lose your bearings: For a short time after my mother died, my father seemed to lose his bearings.
Etymology: based on the literal meaning of bearings (your position in relation to other things)
to produce successful results Opening a new store in San Francisco has already borne fruit for the company.
if something someone does bears fruit, it produces successful results The work he began did not bear fruit until after his death.
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.
Back up or confirm, as in The results bear out what he predicted, or His story bears me out exactly. [Late 1400s]
get one's bearings
Also, find one's bearings. Figure out one's position or situation relative to one's surroundings. For example, She's still new to the company and needs time to find her bearings, or I'll be along soon; just wait till I get my bearings. Naturally, one can also lose one's bearings, as in After we missed the turnpike exit, we completely lost our bearings. These phrases use bearings in the sense of "relative position," a usage dating from the 1600s.
lose one's bearings
see under get one's bearings.
To be evidence that something is true or that what someone says is true; support something or someone: The test results bear out our claims. I told them my side of the story and the evidence bore me out.