Bear Idioms


Bears are defined by most dictionaries as big animals with sharp claws and bulky hair that can walk like a person.

Bear, the verb, means to support or carry.

Only eight species of bear actually exist in the world: the Asiatic Black Bear, the Black Bear, the Brown Bear, the Panda Bear, the Polar Bear, the Sloth Bear, the Spectacled Bear and the Sun Bear.

Bear as a verb is used widely. The expression I can’t bear it means “I can’t take it anymore”. Child-bearing is the human process of giving birth.

Here are more than thirty idioms with the word bear in them. This list is not for the average bear!

Definition of Bear:

Idioms With the Word Bear

As cross as a bear: When someone is particularly annoyed, we say that they are as cross as a bear (e.g. Tim is as cross as a bear today). The expanded version of this idiom is as cross as a bear with a sore head.

Baby bear: A rookie police officer.

Bear a grudge: Also known as hold a grudge, keep a grudge, have a grudge, etc. To bear a grudge is to keep resentment toward someone or something.

Bear a hand: The same meaning as lend a hand: helping or collaborating.

Bear a resemblance to: To resemble someone, e.g. Tim bears a resemblance to Mike.

Bear arms: Armed; carrying weapons. For example: we, as a country, shouldn’t let everyone bear arms.

Bear cage: A police station.

Bear my cross: To bear a burden. E.g.: I ask you to bear my cross is the same as saying I ask you to bear my burden.

Bear fruit: To achieve results. For example: this project will bear fruit.

Bear in mind: To keep in mind. E.g.: bear in mind that in these dark times, staying healthy is important.

Bear in the air: a police officer in the air (usually in an aircraft of some kind).

Bear off: To change course. Example: bear off to the left.

Bear on: To be connected to something. For example: these reports must include cases which bear on the understanding of the disease.

Bear the brunt: To tolerate the toughest part of something. E.g.: she can’t bear the brunt of the economic recession.

Jennifer Lopez bear quote

Bear the burden: Same as bear my cross; to endure something unpleasant.

Bear trap: Literally, a specific kind of trap to capture bears. As an idiom, it is used to refer to speed limit enforcement traps. The bears (the cops) set bear traps (speed traps).

Bear up: To hold something (or someone) up.

Bear witness to: To testify.

Bring to bear: Apply. Example: pressure can be brought to bear on people.

Busy as a bear in a beehive: Bears have no difficulty getting the honey the want, so this idiom implies laziness.


Busy as a hibernating bear: Just as before, not busy at all!

Do bears poop in the woods?: A sarcastic way of saying yes, usually used as an answer to a question. Example: Is there a lack of money? Do bears shit in the woods?

Grin and bear it: Smile and endure t.

Gruff as a bear: Brusque.

Hot enough to burn a polar bear’s butt: Very hot.

Hungry as a bear: Very hungry.

Lady bear: Female cop.

Loaded for bear: Angry and/or drunk.

More than one can bear: The same as more than you can take; to be overwhelmed.

Can’t bear the sight of: Incapable of tolerating someone or something.

Than the average bear: Comes from the classic phrase, Yogi bear is smarter than the average bear. This idiom is used to compare someone to the average person. Example: you have to play better than the average bear.

Words that start with Bear

Bearable: This word means supportable or tolerable. Bearable job means a job you are capable of enduring. The words bearability (noun) and bearably (adverb) mean the same thing.

Bearbaiting: A blood sport where dogs systematically fought chained bears in bear-gardens.

Bearberry: A kind of berry that bears love to eat. The plural form is bearberries.

Bearcat: A binturong—a threatened animal that lives in South Asia. It lives exclusively in tall forests. Bearcats are omnivorous.

Bearer: Someone who carries something. This something can be immaterial such as in he is the bearer of bad news.

A. J. Mclean bear quote

Beargrass: Also known as soapgrass. It is a plant that can survive fire.

Bearhug: A strong embrace. To bearhug someone is to put your arms around them and then hold them against you tightly.

Bearing: An individual’s manner of moving or standing.

Bearish: Resembling or acting as a bear would. Typically implies roughness or aggressiveness. Bearlike, bearishness and bearishly can also be used in the same way.

Bearskin: A rug or some other thing made from the pelt of a bear. The plural is bearskins.

Bearwood: A shrubby tree of the United States. Also a region in England.