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 ?
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.