bear down

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bear down

1. To carry or transport someone or something down along something. In this usage, a noun or pronoun is used between "bear" and "down." The current bore us down the river toward the ocean. The courier bore the parcel down the road as quickly as he could.
2. To push downward with one's abdomen, as when giving birth or passing stool. At some point you're going to feel an intense urge to bear down, which means the baby is on her way.
3. To put forth one's maximum effort or apply one's maximum concentration (toward action or activity). I know you've been having trouble with your studies, but it's time to bear down and make sure you pass.
4. Of a boat, to approach from an upwind direction. The other boat began bearing down at an incredible speed.
See also: bear, down
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

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
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

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
The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer. Copyright © 2003, 1997 by The Christine Ammer 1992 Trust. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

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
The American Heritage® Dictionary of Phrasal Verbs. Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
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References in periodicals archive ?
Fijians living in low-lying areas were urged to flee to higher ground Saturday as a cyclone bore down on the South Pacific nation after leaving a trail of destruction in Samoa with up to 10 feared dead.
A heavy snowstorm bore down on the ceremony as 22-year-old Kevin and his 23-year-old bride exchanged their vows at Oheka Castle, a 109,000-square-foot sprawling estate in Cold Spring Harbor on Long Island, New York.
Hours earlier, it looked as though disaster was descending on the Cayman islands as the Category 4 storm with winds of 150mph - bore down after battering Jamaica.
Ernesto yesterday bore down on Cuba after drenching Haiti.
Halkyn had been the brighter starters but were guilty of an inexplicable miss when two attackers bore down on the home keeper Ben Heald.
He was clean through three times but Ipswich goalkeeper Matteo Sereni blocked the first chance, Campbell poked the second just wide and then he bore down on goal only to shoot tamely straight at Sereni.
Paul Radisich, returning to the track after a stop-go penalty for speeding, was in the wrong place at the wrong time as the front-runners bore down. Menu, wrong-footed, ran wide and allowed Plato to pip Rickard Rydell at the finish.
Two minutes later Trinidad would have made it two but for the heroics of keeper Ali Hassan, who parried Stern John's shot to safety as the striker bore down on goal.
Basinas held his nerve to send keeper Roberto Bonano the wrong way from the spot amid furious Barca protests after Spain defender Fernando Abelardo was adjudged to have fouled impressive winger Joonas Kolkka as he bore down on goal 11 minutes from time.
An offside flag had gone up in the 67th minute as Sara bore down on Miller but it was too late to prevent a collision which left the hitman prostrate inside the penalty area.