Bear Meaning & Phrasal Verbs List


Have you heard people mention the word bear in a sentence and wonder what does an animal have to do with what you are discussing?

This word often confuses people because it has two meanings in English. However, most phrasal verbs that include bear are related to the second meaning as found below.

Skype English Lesson with a native AMERICAN or BRITISH teacher ››

Bear (noun)

A large furry animal that has claws and lives in the woods of many countries.

Bear (verb)

To carry or support, endure.

Let us have a look at the most common phrasal verbs that use the word bear.

Bear up

To endure a difficult situation with good strength.

  • I can bear up under the most difficult of circumstances.

Check your Grammar ››

Bear down

Used during child birth, a phrasal verb that describes the action of a woman pushing her baby out of her womb.

  • Come on Diane; it is time to bear down.

Skype English Lesson with a native AMERICAN or BRITISH teacher ››

Bear arms

This phrasal verb is also used as an expression or invitation frequently during periods of conflict. It refers to the picking up and using a weapon.

  • The Constitution of the United States permits its citizens the right to bear arms.
  • I have the right to bear arms in my country.

Check your Grammar ››

Bear pit

This phrasal verb does make use of its meaning to the animal. A bear pit is where a Bear may rest, eat and live, anyone entering into a bear’s pit would not be welcome and may be attacked by the bear.

Therefore, this phrasal verb is used to describe a dangerous situation.

  • Be careful! You are about to go into the bear pit.
  • When the Gangs pulled out their weapons on each other, it was like being in a bear pit.

Skype English Lesson with a native AMERICAN or BRITISH teacher ››

Bear hug

Another phrasal verb that references the animal. Bears can grow up to nine feet tall, so you could imagine what a hug from such a large animal may feel like! So when we are given or give a hug that is very tight and hard, we refer to this as a bear hug.

  • Please give Bill a bear hug from me when you see him.
  • John’s bear hugs really hurt!

Check your Grammar ››

We hope this article helps you understand that when you hear the word bear in a sentence, they may not be necessarily speaking about an animal.

Listen to the context of what the person is saying to determine if it is the second meaning of bear that they are talking about.  It will prevent future misunderstandings.

Can you think of another phrasal verb with the word bear? Let us know with a comment below. Remember to check out our other articles on the website too!

Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments