loaded for bear

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English[edit]

Etymology[edit]

An allusion to equipping oneself with the sort of heavy weaponry suitable for hunting large game.

Adjective[edit]

loaded for bear (not comparable)

  1. (idiomatic) Thoroughly equipped, as for a demanding task or confrontation.
    • 1955, Edward Latimer Beach, Run Silent, Run Deep, ch. 6:
      "The whole Jap Navy," said Captain Sams, waving at a map of Japan on the wall behind him, "has been steaming across the Pacific loaded for bear."
  2. (idiomatic) Mentally prepared for a daunting situation or confrontation.
    • 1917, Lucy Maud Montgomery, Anne's House of Dreams, ch. 35:
      Every Elliott and Crawford and MacAllister is on the warpath, loaded for bear.