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See also: Bearer



From Middle English berer, berere, from Old English berere (attested in Old English wæterberere (waterbearer)), equivalent to bear +‎ -er.



bearer (plural bearers)

  1. One who, or that which, bears, sustains, or carries.
  2. Someone who helps carry the coffin or a dead body during a funeral procession.
    Synonym: pallbearer
    • 1645, John Milton, “Another on the same” in Poems of Mr. John Milton, both English and Latin, London: Humphrey Moseley, p. 29,[1]
      Nay, quoth he, on his swooning bed outstretch’d,
      If I may not carry, sure Ile ne’re be fetch’d,
      But vow though the cross Doctors all stood hearers,
      For one Carrier put down to make six bearers.
    • 1838, Boz [pseudonym; Charles Dickens], Oliver Twist; or, The Parish Boy’s Progress. [], volume (please specify |volume=I, II, or III), London: Richard Bentley, [], OCLC 558204586:
      [] the bare coffin having been screwed down, was hoisted on the shoulders of the bearers, and carried into the street.
    • 1934, Dorothy L. Sayers, The Nine Tailors, London: Victor Gollancz, 1975, “A Full Peal of Grandsire Triples”, Part 3,[2]
      The deep shadows of the porch swallowed up priest, corpse and bearers []
  3. One who possesses a cheque, bond, or other notes promising payment.
    I promise to pay the bearer on demand.
  4. A person employed or engaged to carry equipment on a safari, expedition, etc.
  5. A person employed to carry a palanquin or litter.
  6. (India, dated) A domestic servant in charge of household goods and clothing; a valet.
    Synonym: dressing-boy
    • 1888, Rudyard Kipling, ‘Watches of the Night’, Plain Tales from the Hills, Folio 2005, p. 60:
      The bar of the watch-guard worked through the buttonhole, and the watch—Platte's watch—slid quietly on to the carpet; where the bearer found it next morning and kept it.
  7. (India) A waiter in a hotel or restaurant.
  8. A tree or plant yielding fruit.
    a good bearer
    • 1791, William Gilpin, Remarks on Forest Scenery: and Other Woodland Views, London: R. Blamire, Volume 1, Book 1, Section 6, p. 149,[3]
      In the common mode of pruning, this species of vine is no great bearer; but managed as it is here, it produces wonderfully.
  9. (dated) Someone who delivers a letter or message on behalf of another (especially as referred to in the letter or message).
  10. (printing) A strip of reglet or other furniture to bear off the impression from a blank page.
  11. (printing) A type or type-high piece of metal interspersed in blank parts to support the plate when it is shaved.

Derived terms[edit]


  • Bengali: বেয়ারা (beẏara), বেহারা (behara) (borrowed from sense 4)






  1. first-person singular imperfect passive subjunctive of beō