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From Middle English aberen, from Old English āberan (to bear, carry, carry away), from ā- (away, out), a- + beran (to bear), from Proto-Germanic *uzberaną (to bear off, bring forth, produce), from Proto-Indo-European *bʰer- (to bear, carry), equivalent to a- +‎ bear. Cognate with Old High German irberan, Gothic 𐌿𐍃𐌱𐌰𐌹𐍂𐌰𐌽 (usbairan).


  • (UK) IPA(key): /əˈbɛə/, [əˈbɛː]
  • (file)
  • (US) IPA(key): /əˈbɛɹ/, [əˈbɛɚ]
  • Rhymes: -ɛə(ɹ)


abear (third-person singular simple present abears, present participle abearing, simple past abore, past participle aborn or aborne)

  1. (transitive, now rare, dialectal) To put up with; to endure; to bear. [from 9th c.]
    • 1872, James De Mille, The Cryptogram[1], HTML edition, The Gutenberg Project, published 2009:
      Hunder-cook, indeed! which it's what I never abore yet, and never will abear.
    • 1926, Hope Mirrlees, Lud-in-the-Mist, London: Millennium, 2000, Chapter 6, p. 68,[2]
      And he seems sweet on Miss Hazel though she can’t abear him, though when I ask her about him she snaps my head off and tells me to mind my own business.
  2. (transitive, obsolete) To bear; to carry. [10th–15th c.]
  3. (transitive, reflexive, obsolete) To behave; to comport oneself. [16th–17th c.]
    • 1596, Edmund Spenser, The Faerie Queene, V.12:
      So did the Faerie knight himselfe abeare, / And stouped oft his head from shame to shield []

Usage notes[edit]

  • (endure): Used in the negative nowadays.

Derived terms[edit]


abear (plural abears)

  1. (obsolete) Bearing, behavior. [14th–17th c.]