bear down (on)

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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.
See also: bear, down

bear down (on someone or something)

to press down on someone or something. Bear down on the pen. You have to make a lot of copies. Don't bear down too hard or you'll break it.
See also: bear, down

bear down

1. Press or weigh down on someone or something. For example, This pen doesn't write unless you bear down hard on it. [Late 1600s]
2. Try hard, intensify one's efforts, as in If you'll just bear down, you'll pass the test.
3. Move forward in a pressing or threatening way, as in The ferry bore down on our little skiff. This usage was originally nautical. [Early 1700s]
See also: bear, down

bear down

v.
1. To press or push down heavily on someone or something: To knead this dough you have to bear down on it with both hands. I grabbed the corners of the blanket and bore down hard to stop the wind from blowing it away.
2. To apply maximum effort and concentration: Now that the games are over, I can really bear down on my studies. To finish this job you'll need to bear down and work very hard.
3. To advance upon someone or something in a threatening manner: As soon as I had control of the soccer ball, I saw the tackle bearing down on me. The storm bore down and ravaged the island.
See also: bear, down
References in periodicals archive ?
He said action to stop currency speculators boosting the value of pound was unlikely because New Labour would not like the thought of "bearing down on capitalists".
Most young coaches wind up feeling like a quarterback with two huge ends bearing down on him.
Looks good everywhere and always dangerous when bearing down on goal.
Or they assert that recurrent crises around the world have prevented Clinton from bearing down on his home-front agenda.
First, there was a "timing mismatch": Volcker was bearing down hard on the money supply at just about the same time that Congress passed Reagan's deep cuts in income tax rates.
Mr Blunkett calls for radical reform of the Social Fund, which provides emergency loans and grants to people on low incomes, and a stronger focus on tackling financial exclusion by bearing down on exploitative lending.
As the death toll rose to 531, including several foreign tourists, with more than 275 missing, an amateur video shown on TV showed children playing in the surf and building sandcastles followed by brief footage of a wall of black water bearing down on the beach in Pangandaran.
"Sutton scored from their only shot on target in the first half but we were denied a blatant penalty when Kevin Charley, who had a fine game, was brought down from behind when bearing down on goal.
How much stresswould a mammal feel when hearing a pack of half-starved hounds bearing down on it?
LEO HANDLER, an ex-convict played by Mark Wahlberg, hears the screech of an oncoming train in the New York City subway yards, but does not yet realise that it might well be bearing down him.
THE sight of his 20-stone frame bearing down on you at full tilt is enough to petrify the hardest of rugby players.
Alternatively, the researchers propose that ice caps help quiet volcanoes by bearing down on Earth's crust, essentially putting a weight on the magma chambers that feed volcanoes.
And, after putting the West Indian attack to the sword in the Test series, having Steve Harmison bearing down on goal was probably the hardest thing he has had to cope with all summer.
Brakes might have netted twice after the interval, Paul Nicholls being denied by a great save and the referee then failing to play the advantage rule when Brakes were bearing down on the home goal.
"One minute I was mending a fence in a field and the next this huge juggernaut was bearing down on me," said Mr Brice, 47.