A Dictionary of the English Language
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Bear (verb active)

View Scan · View Transcription · from pages 213, 214, 215

View Scan · View Transcription · from pages 213, 214, 215

To Bear. v.a. pret. I bore, or bare; part. pass. bore, or born. [boꞃan, bꞃan, Sax. bairan, Gothick. It is sounded as bare, as the are in care and dare.]

  1. This is a word used with such latitude, that it is not easily explained.

    We say to bear a burden, to bear sorrow or reproach, to bear a name, to bear a grudge, to bear fruit, or to bear children. The word bear is used in very different senses. Watt's Logick.

  2. To carry as a burden.

    They bear him upon the shoulder; they carry him and set him in his place. Isaiah, xlvi. 7.

    And Solomon had threescore and ten thousand that bare burdens. 1 Kings, v. 15.

    As an eagle stirreth up her nest, fluttereth over her young, spreadeth abroad her wings, taketh them, beareth them on her wings. Deuteronomy, xxxii. 11.

    We see some, who, we think, have born less of the burden, rewarded above ourselves. Decay of Piety.

  3. To convey or carry.

    My message to the ghost of Priam bear;
    Tell him a new Achilles sent thee there.
    Dryden's Æneid.

    A guest like him, a Trojan guest before,
    In shew of friendship, sought the Spartan shore,
    And ravish'd Helen from her husband bore.

  4. To carry as a mark of authority.

                  I do commit into your hand
    Th' unstrained sword that you have us'd to bear.
    Shakesp. Henry IV. p. ii.

  5. To carry as a mark of distinction.

    He may not bear so fair and so noble an image of the divine glory, as the universe in its full system. Hale's Orig. of Mank.

    His pious brother, sure the best
    Who ever bore that name.

    The sad spectators stiffen'd with their fears,
    She sees, and sudden every limb she smears;
    Then each of savage beasts the figure bears.

    His supreme spirit or mind will bear its best resemblance, when it represents the supreme infinite. Cheyne's Phil. Prin.

    So we say, to bear arms in a coat.

  6. To carry as in show.

    Look like the time; bear welcome in your eye,
    Your hand, your tongue; look like the innocent flower,
    But be the serpent under't.
    Shakesp. King Lear.

  7. To carry as in trust.

    He was a thief, and had the bag, and bare what was put therein. John, xii. 6.

  8. To support; to keep from falling.

    Under colour of rooting out popery, the most effectual means to bear up the state of religion may be removed, and so a way be made either for paganism, or for extreme barbarism to enter. Hooker, b. iv. § 1.

    And Samson took hold of the two middle pillars, upon which the house stood, and on which it was born up. Judges, xvi. 29.

    A religious hope does not only bear up the mind under her sufferings, but makes her rejoice in them. Addison. Spectat.

    Some power invisible supports his soul,
    And bears it up in all its wonted greatness.
    Addison's Cato.

  9. To keep afloat.

    The waters encreased, and bare up the ark, and it was lifted up above the earth. Genesis, vii. 17.

  10. To support with proportionate strength.

    Animals that use a great deal of labour and exercise, have their solid parts more elastick and strong; they can bear, and ought to have stronger food. Arbuthnot on Aliments.

  11. To carry in the mind, as love, hate.

    How did the open multitude reveal
    The wond'rous love they bear him under hand!
    Daniel's Civil War.

    They bare great faith and obedience to the kings. Bacon.

    Darah, the eldest bears a generous mind,
    But to implacable revenge inclin'd.
    Dryden's Aurengz.

    The coward bore the man immortal spite. Dryden's Ovid.

    As for this gentleman, who is fond of her, she beareth him an invincible hatred. Swift.

    That inviolable love I bear to the land of my nativity, prevailed upon me to engage in so bold an attempt. Swift.

  12. To endure, as pain, without sinking.

    It was not an enemy that reproached me, then I could have born it. Psalm liv. 12.

  13. To suffer; to undergo.

    I have born chastisements, I will not offend any more. Job, xxxiv. 31.

    That which was torn of beasts, I brought not unto thee, I bare the loss of it; of my hand didst thou require it. Genesis, xxxi. 39.

  14. To permit; to suffer without resentment.

    Not the gods, nor angry Jove will bear
    Thy lawless wand'ring walks in upper air.
    Dryd. Æneid.

  15. To be capable of; to admit.

    To reject all orders of the church which men have established, is to think worse of the laws of men in this respect, than either the judgment of wise men alloweth, or the law of God itself will bear. Hooker, b. iii.

    Being the son of one earl of Pembroke, and younger brother to another, who liberally supplied his expense, beyond what his annuity from his father would bear. Clarendon.

    Give his thought either the same turn, if our tongue will bear it, or, if not, vary but the dress. Dryden.

    Do not charge your coins with more uses than they can bear. It is the method of such as love any science, to discover all others in it. Addison on Medals.

    Had he not been eager to find mistakes, he would not have strained my words to such a sense as they will not bear. Atterb.

    In all criminal cases, the most favourable interpretation should be put upon words that they possibly can bear. Swift.

  16. To produce, as fruit.

    There be some plants that bear no flower, and yet bear fruit: there be some that bear flowers, and no fruit: there be some that bear neither flowers nor fruit. Bacon's Natural History.

    They wing'd their flight aloft; then stooping low,
    Perch'd on the double tree that bears the golden bough.
    Dryden's Æneid.

    Say, shepherd, say, in what glad soil appears
    A wond'rous tree that sacred monarchs bears.
    Pope's Past.

  17. To bring forth, as a child.

              The queen that bore thee,
    Oftner upon her knees than on her feet,
    Died every day she liv'd.
    Shakesp. Macbeth.

    Ye know that my wife bare two sons. Genesis, xliv. 27.

              What could that have done?
    What could the muse herself that Orpheus bore,
    The muse herself, for her enchanting son?

    The same Æneas, whom fair Venus bore
    To fam'd Anchises on th' Idean shore.
    Dryden's Æneid.

  18. To give birth to.

    Here dwelt the man divine whom Samos bore,
    But now self-banish'd from his native shore.

  19. To possess, as power or honour.

    When vice prevails, and impious men bear sway,
    The post of honour is a private station.
    Addison's Cato.

  20. To gain; to win.

    As it more concerns the Turk than Rhodes,
    So may he with more facile question bear it;
    For that it stands not in such warlike brace.
    Shakesp. Othello.

    Because the Greek and Latin have ever born away the prerogative from all other tongues, they shall serve as touchstones to make our trials by. Camden.

    Some think to bear it by speaking a great word, and being peremptory; and go on, and take by admittance that which they cannot make good. Bacon.

  21. To maintain; to keep up.

    He finds the pleasure and credit of bearing a part in the conversation, and of hearing his reasons approved. Locke.

  22. To support any thing good or bad.

    I was carried on to observe, how they did bear their fortunes, and principally, how they did employ their times. Bacon's Holy War.

  23. To exhibit.

    Ye Trojan flames, your testimony bear,
    What I perform'd and what I suffer'd there.

  24. To be answerable for.

    If I bring him not unto thee, let me bear the blame for ever. Genesis, xliii. 9.

    O more than madmen! you yourselves shall bear
    The guilt of blood and sacrilegious war.

  25. To supply.

    What have you under your arm? Somewhat, that will bear your charges in your pilgrimage? Dryden's Spanish Friar.

  26. To be the object of.

    I'll be your father and your brother too;
    Let me but bear your love, I'll bear your cares.
    Shakesp. Henry IV. p. ii.

  27. To behave; to act in character.

                Some good instruction give,
    How I may bear me here.
    Shakesp. Tempest.

    Hath he born himself penitent in prison? Shakesp. Measure for Measure.

  28. To hold; to restrain.

    Do you suppose the state of this realm to be now so feeble, that it cannot bear off a greater blow than this? Hayward.

  29. To impel; to urge; to push.

    The residue were so disordered as they could not conveniently fight or fly, and not only justled and bore down one another, but, in their confused tumbling back, brake a part of the avant-guard. Sir. J. Hayward.

                  Contention, like a horse
    Full of high feeding, madly hath broke loose,
    And bears down all before him.
    Shakesp. Henry IV. p. ii.

    Their broken oars, and floating planks, withstand
    Their passage, while they labour to the land;
    And ebbing tides bear back upon th' uncertain sand.
    Dryden's Æneid.

    Now with a noiseless gentle course
    It keeps within the middle bed;
    Anon it lifts aloft the head,
    And bears down all before it with impetuous force.

    Truth is born down, attestations neglected, the testimony of sober persons despised. Swift.

    The hopes of enjoying the abbey lands would soon bear down all considerations, and be an effectual incitement to their perversion. Swift.

  30. To conduct; to manage.

                          My hope is
    So to bear through, and out, the consulship,
    As spite shall ne'er wound you, though it may me.
    Ben Johnson's Catiline.

  31. To press.

    Cæsar doth bear me hard; but he loves Brutus. Shakesp. Julius Cæsar.

    Though he bear me hard,
    I must do him right.
    Ben. Johnson's Catiline.

    These men bear hard upon the suspected party, pursue her close through all her windings. Addison. Spectator, № 170.

  32. To incite; to animate.

    But confidence then bore thee on; secure
    Either to meet no danger, or to find
    Matter of glorious trial.
    Milton's Par. Lost, b. i. l. 1175.

  33. To bear a body. A colour is said to bear a body in painting, when it is capable of being ground so fine, and mixing with the oil so entirely, as to seem only a very thick oil of the same colour.

  34. To bear date. To carry the mark of the time when any thing was written.

  35. To bear a price. To have a certain value.

  36. To bear in hand. To amuse with false pretences; to deceive.

    Your daughter, whom she bore in hand to love
    With such integrity, she did confess,
    Was as a scorpion to her sight.
    Shakesp. Cymbeline.

                    He griev'd,
    That so his sickness, age, and impotence,
    Was falsely born in hand, sends out arrests
    On Fortinbras.
    Shakesp. Hamlet.

    He repaired to Bruges, desiring of the states of Bruges, to enter peaceably into their town, with a retinue fit for his estate; and bearing them in hand, that he was to communicate with them of divers matters of great importance, for their good. Bacon's Henry VII.

    It is no wonder, that some would bear the world in hand, that the apostle's design and meaning is for presbytery, though his words are for episcopacy. South.

  37. To bear off. To carry away by force.

    I will respect thee as a father, if
    Thou bear'st my life off hence.
    Shakesp. Winter's Tale.

    The sun views half the earth on either way,
    And here brings on, and there bears off the day.

    Give but the word, we'll snatch this damsel up,
    And bear her off.
    Addison's Cato.

                      My soul grows desperate.
    I'll bear her off.
    A. Philip's Distrest Mother.

  38. To bear out. To support; to maintain; to defend.

    I hope your warrant will bear out the deed. Shak. K. John.

    I can once or twice a quarter bear out a knave against an honest man. Shakesp. Henry IV. p. ii.

    Changes are never without danger, unless the prince be able to bear out his actions by power. Sir J. Hayward.

    Quoth Sidrophel, I do not doubt
    To find friends that will bear me out.

    It is company only that can bear a man out in an ill thing. South.

    I doubted whether that occasion could bear me out in the confidence of giving your ladyship any further trouble. Temple.

Sources: The Bible - 1. Kings (7) · Addison, Joseph (408) · Allestree, Richard (89) · Arbuthnot, John (227) · Atterbury, Francis (75) · Bacon, Francis (396) · Butler, Samuel (98) · Camden, William (28) · Cheyne, George (26) · Clarendon, Edward (73) · Creech, Thomas (12) · Shakespeare's Cymbeline (73) · Daniel, Samuel (28) · The Bible - Deuteronomy (21) · Dryden, John (788) · Garth, Samuel (17) · The Bible - Genesis (48) · Hale, Matthew (49) · Shakespeare's Hamlet (60) · Hayward, John (42) · Shakespeare's Henry IV, Part 2 (72) · Hooker, Richard (175) · The Bible - Isaiah (16) · The Bible - Job (27) · The Bible - John (15) · Jonson, Ben (70) · The Bible - Judges (13) · Shakespeare's Julius Caesar (42) · Shakespeare's King John (43) · Shakespeare's King Lear (144) · Locke, John (269) · Shakespeare's Macbeth (136) · Shakespeare's Measure for Measure (39) · Milton, John (449) · Shakespeare's Othello (60) · Philips, Ambrose (8) · Pope, Alexander (393) · The Bible - Psalms (29) · South, Robert (158) · Spectator (140) · Swift, Jonathan (306) · Shakespeare's Tempest (50) · Temple, William (54) · Watts, Isaac (117) · Shakespeare's Winter's Tale (43)

Attributes: Gothic (10) · Saxon (215) · Verb Active (289)

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Cite this page: Johnson, Samuel. "Bear (verb active)." A Dictionary of the English Language: A Digital Edition of the 1755 Classic by Samuel Johnson. Edited by Brandi Besalke. Last modified: February 16, 2014. https://johnsonsdictionaryonline.com/bear-verb-active/.

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