1. Something, often a task, that presents a challenge or a problem. I thought this project would be pretty straightforward, but it's become a real bear. That couch was a bear to move upstairs.
2. slang A highway patrol officer. Possibly a reference to Smokey the Bear, a cartoon character who wears a hat similar to those sometimes worn by the highway patrol. Some bear's gonna pull you over if you keep speeding like that!
3. slang An unattractive woman. She's a total bear, why would I flirt with her?
4. slang A gay man with a hairy, stout body. You know I like bears, so why do you keep setting me up with these skinny pretty boys?
To behave in a particular way. I need to bear myself bravely if I want to overcome this fear. I know you guys aren't thrilled about going to Great-Aunt Mildred's, but please try to bear yourselves politely.
See also: bear
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.
1. n. a difficult task. This problem is a real bear.
2. n. an ugly woman. (Derogatory.) Tell the old bear to hold her tongue.
3. n. a highway patrol officer. (see also Smokey (the Bear).) There’s a bear hiding under that bridge.
McGraw-Hill's Dictionary of American Slang and Colloquial Expressions Copyright © 2006 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved.