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  • (UK) IPA(key): /ˈbɛə̯ɹɪŋ/
  • (US) enPR: bâr'ĭng IPA(key): /ˈbɛɹɪŋ/
  • (file)
  • Rhymes: -ɛəɹɪŋ

Etymology 1[edit]

From Middle English beringe, berynge, berende, berande, berand, from Old English berende (bearing; fruitful) (also as synonym Old English bǣrende), from Proto-Germanic *berandz, present participle of Proto-Germanic *beraną (to bear; carry), equivalent to bear +‎ -ing.



  1. present participle of bear


bearing (not comparable)

  1. (in combination) That bears (some specified thing).
    a gift-bearing visitor
  2. Of a beam, column, or other device, carrying weight or load.
    That's a bearing wall.
Derived terms[edit]
Ball bearing

Etymology 2[edit]

From Middle English bering, beringe, berynge, equivalent to bear +‎ -ing.


bearing (plural bearings)

  1. A mechanical device that supports another part and/or reduces friction.
  2. (navigation, nautical) The horizontal angle between the direction of an object and another object, or between it and that of true north; a heading or direction.
  3. Relevance; a relationship or connection.
    That has no bearing on this issue.
    • Alexander Pope
      But of this frame, the bearings and the ties, / The strong connections, nice dependencies.
  4. One's posture, demeanor, or manner.
    She walks with a confident, self-assured bearing.
    • Shakespeare
      I know him by his bearing.
    • 2019 March 18, Steven Pifer, Five years after Crimea’s illegal annexation, the issue is no closer to resolution[1], The Center for International Security and Cooperation:
      The little green men were clearly professional soldiers by their bearing, carried Russian weapons, and wore Russian combat fatigues, but they had no identifying insignia. Vladimir Putin originally denied they were Russian soldiers; that April, he confirmed they were.
  5. (in the plural) Direction or relative position.
  6. (architecture) That part of any member of a building which rests upon its supports.
    A lintel or beam may have four inches of bearing upon the wall.
  7. (architecture) The portion of a support on which anything rests.
  8. (architecture, proscribed) The unsupported span.
    The beam has twenty feet of bearing between its supports.
  9. (heraldry) Any single emblem or charge in an escutcheon or coat of arms.
    • Thackeray
      A carriage covered with armorial bearings.
Related terms[edit]
See also[edit]