Definition of bearing in US English:



  • 1in singular A person's way of standing or moving.

    ‘a man of precise military bearing’
    • ‘I notice his erect bearing, his poker face, only his moving cheek muscles betray that this man is under great tension.’
    • ‘One soldier testified that the bearing and behaviour of the men convinced the soldiers on duty that those involved in the raid were ‘superior officers’.’
    • ‘But her deflated bearing and tone is also a touch obvious - labored, you might say, in its listlessness.’
    • ‘Cusack copes well with the physical demands of the production, offering convincing portrayals of women who are markedly different in appearance and bearing.’
    • ‘It was not the profundity of his words but the silent strength of his bearing that was so powerful.’
    • ‘Moreover her stage bearing has a rare grace and dignity.’
    • ‘Unless looks deceive so convincingly, he does not look indigent and like someone in state of abject poverty; more like a man in full control of his bearing, faculties and appearance.’
    • ‘In her bearing, speech and manner, Medea, then is no longer the supernatural being who charmed Jason into marrying her, but a cold, calculating woman, her mind set at a single purpose.’
    • ‘The effect on their bearing and appearance is all too often appalling.’
    • ‘He has fleshy pale cheeks, bright brown eyes and an eager bearing that leaves the impression of an overgrown boy.’
    • ‘They would cultivate a military bearing, trying to take a disciplinary flogging with manly indifference, and giving a smart salute after it.’
    • ‘But in spite of his melancholy bearing and despondent expression, there were few who could say that they had ever seen a man of more distinguished presence.’
    • ‘Blind people quickly learn to find their bearing (space, time) in judo training and to move around with self-assurance.’
    • ‘His bearing made him appear aloof, as if he sat heads above everyone else.’
    • ‘A short fellow with a refined bearing, Gavaskar consistently got hundreds and double-hundreds against top-class bowling.’
    • ‘In The Wolf Man, Rains is the perfect lord of the manor with his patrician bearing and smooth manner with the town's officials.’
    • ‘The exhaustion shows, though his military bearing and appearance (he still has the buzz cut of a man in uniform) belie the toll the case has taken on him.’
    • ‘Most were Sikhs, Rajputs or Gurkhas, people whom the British classed as ‘martial races’ and they were much admired for their bearing, courage and steadfastness.’
    • ‘Footwear is one aspect that can make a difference to the bearing of the person, literally and figuratively.’
    • ‘He was hugely muscular and with the arrogant bearing of a man who knew he would get what he wanted.’
    • ‘Dressed like Sunday boaters, they appeared casual, but had a military bearing.’
    posture, comportment, carriage, gait, stance
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    1. 1.1 The way one behaves or conducts oneself.
      ‘she has the bearing of a First Lady’
      • ‘Let us grant for the moment that individual choices and actions do reflect the moral bearing of a person, and that issues of morality can only be dealt with by spiritual, or deep self-enquiry.’
      • ‘The physiognomy of the city and the bearing of its inhabitants share the portentous aspect of a drama.’
      • ‘Others, more worldly and human in their bearing, interpret the bharata natyam dancer's role as that of a frank seductress.’
      • ‘It is not exactly a usual thing for a six-foot-five inch white man with a shock of white hair, a man of distinguished bearing to ask for a job as a hotwalker at a racetrack.’
      • ‘At the same time, her children excel all the children in town in learning, in demeanor, and in a certain reserved and distinguished bearing.’
      • ‘Twopeny shared the disdain of other English visitors for the conduct and bearing of the native-born, a disdain matched by the anxiety of English mothers watching their children run free.’
      • ‘In the egalitarian world of the NFL, in which free agency and a salary cap are designed to prevent the emergence of dynasties, these Super Bowl appearances imply an aristocratic bearing.’
      • ‘His bearing, his sense, his dignity and organisational skills are hailed throughout the city.’
      • ‘A man's personality and mental make-up do have a bearing upon his conduct.’
      • ‘At every occasion, his personal bearing, his humility, and his profound remarks make you feel that you are in august company.’
      demeanour, manner, air, aspect, attitude, behaviour, mien, countenance, guise, cast, look, feel, style
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  • 2Relation; relevance.

    ‘the case has no direct bearing on the issues’
    • ‘But how much of a bearing does withholding truth have on that persons credibility, trust and integrity?’
    • ‘‘To win it would be the victory of all victories,’ the Bolton boss said as he prepared to lock horns with Graeme Souness in a game that could have a major bearing in the relegation stakes.’
    • ‘This appears to have a bearing because things such as pest control and economics obviously are perhaps of greater concern to farmers and you could perhaps explain why there seems to be such a high percentage.’
    • ‘He's also convinced that personal traits have a huge bearing.’
    • ‘I do not think it had any bearing whatsoever, despite what members say, on the agreement to the leave.’
    • ‘We still don't know what is going to happen about Spennymoor United, who are struggling to fulfil their fixtures - that situation could have a bearing.’
    • ‘And because they're not part of the agreement, they have no legal bearing.’
    • ‘None of those paragraphs have any bearing or have any relevance in considering the overseas cases because they were not dealing with the scheme of this legislation.’
    • ‘On the resolution of this issue, our role in the global peace movement has a very important bearing.’
    • ‘Money shouldn't be top of your list of qualities but it can have a bearing.’
    • ‘Thus, messages from ancestors have a bearing within a community and can alert men and women alike about any social breaks and lack of community ties.’
    • ‘The kids felt the story was unrealistic and had no bearing or relevance to their lives.’
    • ‘These uncertainties also have an important bearing in understanding the complex and rapidly evolving tectonic history of the Adelaide Fold Belt.’
    • ‘Although his subsequent post still has some bearing to the point of the article I linked, his behavior is reprehensible.’
    • ‘My question is, what is his relationship with his family and what bearing will the family have on if and when he decides to get married?’
    • ‘The ability of a person to generate income increases also has a bearing, he said.’
    • ‘Naomh Eoin's inability to use their extra man sufficiently definitely had a bearing, but St. Mullins must be commended for their team spirit.’
    • ‘We say that has no bearing at all on the interpretation of the 1981 Act.’
    • ‘This sober attitude is needed, for the negative impact of a local government's financial instability will definitely have a national bearing.’
    • ‘This is where managing relationships has the most bearing.’
    relevance, relevancy, significance, pertinence, connection, relation, aptness, appositeness, germaneness, importance, import, application
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  • 3The level to which something bad can be tolerated.

    ‘school was bad enough, but now it's past bearing’
    • ‘This city's normal population is only 85,000 and last week 400,000 retreating Leftists and hostages jammed it almost beyond bearing, with food running crucially short.’
    • ‘Most oddly, while implacably committed to family duties and the bringing up of children, the novel succeeds in portraying both as a burden almost beyond human bearing.’
    • ‘But to receive that terse response, and the earlier one, is beyond bearing.’
    • ‘Your begging is past bearing.’
    • ‘For all of us who have offered the couple our thoughts and prayers over the past three months, who have felt for their torment and despair, such a scenario is almost beyond bearing.’
    endurance, endurability, tolerance, tolerability, acceptance, acceptability, sufferance, manageability
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  • 4A part of a machine that bears friction, especially between a rotating part and its housing.

    • ‘This feature of the T-carts was attributed to the heavier weight of the T-carts but in fact it was due to a different type of bearing used in the caster piece where it attached to the cart.’
    • ‘‘Tap the yoke gently and the bearing should appear,’ was one classic phrase I learned from Mr. Haynes.’
    • ‘A typical rebuild is new pistons, rods, main and rod bearings, piston rings, and a valve job.’
    • ‘The lower line feeds the big end bearings and the upper line the main bearings and piston cooling jets.’
    • ‘Each spreader is made of heavy-gauged steel with rugged cast-iron axle bearings that are guaranteed to last.’
    • ‘In the medical and pharmaceutical sectors, Amiloy 22 can be used to fabricate shaft bushings, bearings, piston rings, pump parts, and slide pads.’
    • ‘The nut on the end of the axle holds on the wheels, and the inside of the bearings are always in contact with the axle.’
    • ‘Applications include valve nuts, cam bearings, impellers, hangers in pickling baths, agitators, crane gears and connecting rods.’
    • ‘After all, who's likely to take an engine apart to examine what kind of bearings the crankshaft is rotating in?’
    • ‘New air cycle machine bearings have been developed and will improve the robustness of the system.’
    • ‘My machine would need new bearings, a new controller board and several other components if it was to be brought back to life.’
    • ‘Axle bearings, suspensions, pivot points, and all lube points should be checked to see if there is any leakage or potential failures.’
    • ‘Friction is also found in bearings, piston rings, transmission and rear-end gears, and a host of other car parts.’
    • ‘If the bearings that allow the crankshaft to turn freely are worn out, the crankshaft cannot turn so the engine cannot run.’
    • ‘Other advanced industries, like those producing machine tools and bearings, were painfully emerging but were at a low technical level.’
    • ‘An artificial hip joint consists of three parts, the ball, the bearing and the cup.’
    • ‘Slip bearings allow the two halves to move independently.’
    • ‘Our distributor looked at the machine and found bearings that were near failure.’
    • ‘Meanwhile, hydrodynamic lubrication in plain bearings and piston rings can be analysed in seconds.’
    • ‘Hydrodynamic bearings were substituted, which develop an air film when the tape gets up to speed and flies over the surface.’
    1. 4.1 A ball bearing.
      • ‘If the hub bearings are bad, they are easily tapped out and replaced.’
      • ‘The higher the ABEC number the more precise the bearing has been made.’
      • ‘Just make sure you have good bearing and axle-systems and the wheels won't make a huge difference.’
      • ‘The more precisely a bearing is made, the less friction and wear occurs.’
      • ‘To reduce friction in the flywheel I would make sure bearings were placer on the axle and make sure they were oiled properly.’
      • ‘What is the durability data for ceramic bearings in bicycle hubs?’
      • ‘The one thing that you may need to decide is whether you want bearings with removable shields or not.’
      • ‘Flywheel bearings need replacement on a regular basis, requiring the services of qualified technicians, and vacuum system filters require inspection and periodic changing.’
      • ‘Unlike dovetail slide, ball-bearing, and cross-roller bearing stages, flexure stages rely on elastic deformation of a solid material.’
      • ‘But that rear wheel bearing is just as important.’
      • ‘Many bearings look very similar, whether they are ball bearings, roller bearings or other bearings.’
      • ‘The ball bearing had originated about 1877 but was not widely used in America until the bicycle craze swept the country.’
      • ‘Many bearings come with an ABEC rating which people tend to think relates to the speed and quality of the bearing.’
      • ‘What the Deore doesn't have is the crisp butter smooth shifting of the more expensive levers that use bearings instead of bushings.’
      • ‘Also we tune several other unnamed companies their hubs and also pedals and BB axles with ceramic bearings.’
      • ‘On top of that place a bearing, then a spacer, and then the wheel that has a bearing in the other side. Push down like you did to put in the other bearing, and you are done with the bearings for that wheel.’
      • ‘After riding for about half an hour, it is common for your bearings and bolts to settle causing everything to become loose, so you'll want to have your tools with you to tighten everything back up.’
      • ‘But my opinion is that once you break in the gelled bearing, it's just as fast as the oiled bearing.’
      • ‘This is why the drivetrain and wheel bearings are lubricated.’
  • 5The direction or position of something, or the direction of movement, relative to a fixed point. It is usually measured in degrees, typically with magnetic north as zero.

    ‘the Point is on a bearing of 015°’
    • ‘Glassfish were seemingly everywhere, and I would pause every now and then to regain my bearing whenever these living, moving silver clouds engulfed me.’
    • ‘None of the magnets are suitable for use as magnetic bearings in nuclear centrifuges.’
    • ‘He lowered the nose and the chopper gained momentum, banking sharply to the left, he checked his magnetic compass and set off at a bearing of 282 degrees.’
    • ‘Benina held the Lady on a bearing of 330 northwest (of Benina) and compatible with the aircraft's route to and from Naples.’
    • ‘Continue until the seabed drops, and when you reach the boulder-strewn sea floor, follow your compass bearing until you reach some angular rocks.’
    • ‘Our final-approach controller began giving us vectors to intercept the final bearing.’
    • ‘If, however, you want to see more wreckage, then from the cave return to the stern of the Mohegan and follow a compass bearing to the south-west until the depth is just less than 18m.’
    • ‘It gives the range, relative bearing and range rate.’
    • ‘We had an assigned firing bearing, and we went over the different trajectory options to get the best acquisition and kill.’
    • ‘The fire of individual fire units - batteries - was controlled by command posts which calculated the range and bearing to the target and gave the necessary orders to the guns.’
    • ‘Twenty miles from the goal we had to jump to the cloud street to the west to go in the direction of the goal which was now at a bearing of about 340 degrees.’
    • ‘If the target's relative bearing has not changed and the range is decreasing, you should change your course or speed or prepare for a close encounter.’
    • ‘I submerge straight away to get out of the slosh and follow a compass bearing over the shallow kelp and into the Ore Stone.’
    • ‘The wreck was on a magnetic bearing of 360-degrees.’
    • ‘Linaps provides the gunner with the position of the gun and the exact bearing and elevation of the barrel.’
    • ‘The ship vectored us for the approach, and I intercepted the final bearing at 21 miles and 6,000 feet.’
    • ‘Go through it and follow a south-south-west bearing across the bald dome of the summit slopes to the 3556 ft summit itself.’
    • ‘From here I follow a compass bearing to swim out perpendicular to the wall past a forest of sea pens.’
    • ‘The tape is registered against the lower support guide by tilting the bearing less then a degree outward.’
    • ‘I moved around, trying to get a bearing for my location in the room.’
    direction, orientation, course, trajectory, heading, tack, path, line, run
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    1. 5.1one's bearings Awareness of one's position relative to one's surroundings.
      ‘he rose unsteadily to his feet and tried to get his bearings’
      • ‘After taking a few seconds to find their bearings, the two set off for their landing sight.’
      • ‘The ride is just over an hour long, and is an excellent way to get your bearings around the city.’
      • ‘As Hammann made a wide circle to gain altitude and get his bearings, he sighted enemy patrol boats racing toward Ludlow's foundering Macchi.’
      • ‘Working with a sextant for two days, she figured out her bearings and rigged a sail to position herself in currents she hoped would take her to Hawaii.’
      • ‘At any other time of year, this would have been an odd triptych of international hotspots, but try getting your bearings during a four-day festival devoted purely to the art of dramming.’
      • ‘In some kind of internal holding pattern with my bearings lost, deadly shy and baffled.’
      • ‘And the other important thing is to get our bearings - to understand how to get from the airport to the hotel, and from the hotel to the circuit each day.’
      • ‘But it is as if not only her mother's generation but hers too now feels so lost, they can only find their bearings by referring to the psychological barrier that still separates east and west.’
      • ‘He lurched to his feet, and the world spun for a second before he got his bearings.’
      • ‘Anyway, once I got my bearings everything seemed to make more sense, and it felt less like I had walked into Alice in Wonderland.’
      • ‘Adam couldn't get his bearings from his position on the ground.’
      • ‘It also will slow a big man down half a second and allow him to gain his bearings and gain some sense of where his teammates are.’
      • ‘It was quite hard to find her bearings without her sight.’
      • ‘Whatever its point of departure in the individual, art is one of the means by which human beings collectively gain their bearings and make sense of reality, ultimately, bring more and more of it under their conscious control.’
      • ‘It is very easy to lose your bearings as the constant sensory barrage and face to face combat can almost leave you shell shocked.’
      • ‘He swam, trying to maintain his position and get his bearings inside the hold, until something pressed against him and he felt himself sinking deeper.’
      • ‘Given that I was very unfamiliar with the layout and condition of the wreck I decided to spend this first dive exploring the bridge and surrounding area to get my bearings.’
      • ‘Before I can gather my bearings though, my feet have taken me to Lena.’
      • ‘It only took me a couple of seconds to get my bearings after I woke up.’
      • ‘Unless you were a tourist wanting to get fleeced, or you needed to get your bearings, you didn't come out of the subway and look up at the World Trade Center, and you sure didn't point.’
      orientation, sense of direction
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  • 6Heraldry
    A device or charge.

    ‘armorial bearings’
    • ‘Rommel presented, together with Giovianni, a beautiful copy of the armorial bearings of the city of Porto Recanati and some illustrated books of the city and its region.’
    • ‘The carved eagles at the comers suggest that the table might have been made for the Borghese family, whose armorial bearings incorporate an eagle.’
    • ‘Uniforms and regimental colours initially embodied the colonel's armorial bearings and livery, but soon took on the state's symbols.’
    • ‘Taxes on hats, dice, clocks, salt, hair powder, gloves, artificial flowers, menservants, game certificates and armorial bearings have also been used in the past.’
    • ‘In England, new coats of arms are granted to individuals by the Earl Marshal of the College of Arms, which oversees the issuing of armorial bearings.’
    • ‘There is now a thriving black market in armorial bearings and medieval chivalry.’
    • ‘With the increasing realism of later medieval art, windows begin to include many details of daily life, and their donors are commemorated by being depicted in contemporary dress, or by the inclusion of their armorial bearings.’
    • ‘They are one and the same person; Richard is author of both the schoolboy newspaper and the spoof armorial bearings.’
    insignia, regalia, badge, emblem, ensign, device, heraldic device, coat of arms, arms, armorial bearing, escutcheon, shield
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  • 7Architecture
    A structural part that supports weight, such as a wall that supports a beam.

    • ‘Structural engineers determined all of them to be on non-load - bearing walls or in plaster.’
    • ‘At the Opera House end, the beam has a sliding bearing to allow for thermal movement and, as a result, loads at that end always bear vertically down on Barry's wall.’
    • ‘The kitchen would look absolutely smashing if you tore down a wall and made a kitchen island with the oven and work surfaces but is it a bearing wall?’
    • ‘The presence of a courtyard together with thick cement-brick bearing walls ensures an internal comfortable environment especially in summer.’
    • ‘It is supported by a curved bearing wall at the north end of the arena and by two circular towers at the south end, which also contain vertical circulation elements.’
    • ‘A poured-in-place concrete bearing wall supports a structural steel roof, and a preassembled glass and aluminum curtain wall forms the skin.’
    • ‘It's as if the closet has had every foundation and bearing wall removed but still stands, supported by mere expediency, etiquette and the lingering shards of shame.’
    • ‘In short order, the cracking in the drywall in the centre bearing wall reappeared and the plaintiff became concerned.’
    1. 7.1 The point at which a structural part rests upon a supporting structure, such as the specific area of a beam that rests upon a wall.
      • ‘In the end, the support system at the footing and the bearing of the curved panels at the top of the forms proved rigid enough that the spuds were not used on the final few columns, speeding up the process even more.’
      • ‘The Ontario Building Code then in force required that any wall with an air space under two inches be provided with weep holes immediately above the base flashing in veneered walls having bearing support.’
      • ‘This included data on the bearing strength of the lunar surface, and spacecraft temperatures which could be used to analyse the temperature of the Moon's surface.’
      • ‘It's easier with a partner, but you can triangulate this point alone by sighting the crown's apex with a compass and marking a line with your tape measure under the tree along the bearing.’
      • ‘There is no challenge to the suggestion that this is common medical practice. Both Noiles and Church relate to an improvement in the socket half of the joint, in which the bearing is capable of being oriented.’
      • ‘A second method for improving the bearing strength of clay walls involves thermoprocessing.’
      • ‘The corbels' vertical dimensions were chosen to provide a gradual transfer of bearing loads to the walls of the tower legs.’