Definition of bear arms in US English:

bear arms


  • 1Carry firearms.

    • ‘Twentieth-century American laws limiting the right to bear arms are largely a response to the rise in firearm-related crime and are usually upheld by the courts.’
    • ‘This latter belief is attested in the Hutterites' refusal to bear arms or to participate in existing social and political institutions, either through membership or leadership in such activities.’
    • ‘They both turned around at the same time to find three red-coated guards bearing arms closing in on them.’
    • ‘Licensed firearm holders could bear arms still.’
    • ‘Peasants did, however, assert their liberty and did so as warriors despite the presumed prohibition of peasants bearing arms.’
    • ‘All in all there were 17 men including himself capable of bearing arms.’
    • ‘Other demands were formal consultation and recognition of all roleplayers on the legal use and ownership of licensed firearms, recognition of the right to keep and bear arms and the enforcement of the existing arms Act.’
    • ‘He snapped his fingers and the two Goblins bearing arms leapt forward.’
    • ‘In fact, the highest obligation and privilege of citizenship is that of a bearing arms for one's country.’
    • ‘On the fifth floor reside lawful insurgents - combatants who meet the Geneva criteria of openly bearing arms, who wear a distinctive insignia or marking, who abide by the laws of war, and who are organized under responsible leadership.’
    • ‘When Moore argues against the right to bear arms he sets forth an admirable stance, but then soon he also begins bellyaching about how public schools kicked kids out of class for bringing what were perceived as weapons to school.’
    • ‘His father broke peace with us and bore arms against us.’
    • ‘Instead, let us remove all those unconstitutional federal and state restrictions, regulations and laws removing our ‘individual’ right to keep and bear arms.’
    • ‘As a noncombatant, I do not bear arms, but I wear the same uniform as those service members who are trained to kill with precision and efficiency and to devise plans to destroy an enemy's infrastructure with missiles and bombs.’
    • ‘And, importantly, you can monitor what ‘the other side’ is up to, the legislation they are promoting, and the lies they are spreading to further infringe on your fight to keep and bear arms.’
    • ‘For all of the foregoing reasons, we now hold there is a state created right to bear arms which includes the right to carry a handgun with a license, provided that all of the requirements of the Indiana Firearms Act are met.’
    • ‘Or is he one of a new breed of proponents of self-reliance, preaching that the right to bear arms must go hand-in-hand with the responsibility to manufacture and maintain firearms as safely as possible?’
    • ‘Colonial officials fined them for refusing to serve in the militia, but since they were economically productive and otherwise law-abiding, most colonial governments eventually exempted them from personally bearing arms.’
    • ‘Many had borne arms or given aid to George III's armies.’
    • ‘Under a federal statute, Bean was entitled to have the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms consider his application for restoration of his right to bear arms.’
  • 2Wear or display a coat of arms.

    • ‘The practice of bearing arms evolved in the twelfth century, when the nobility began to decorate their shields with animals, birds or geometrical shapes.’
    • ‘Bearing arms is an honour and people who bear arms have something to be proud of; armigers are encouraged to display them in every way they can.’
    • ‘Obviously proving one's right to bear Arms had significant impact, both economically and socially on a family.’
    • ‘Although daughters and sons inherit the right to bear arms for themselves personally, the right passes only through the male line: hence, a son transmits the arms to his children, but a daughter, while bearing them for herself, does not transmit them to her children.’
    • ‘They were staunch Jacobites, and even after Culloden they continued to bear arms and wear the white cockade.’