When you walk into a room with your shoulders straight and your head up, people might say you have a noble bearing. Bearing is the way you hold your body, and it often means you hold it well.

Bearing has many uses, but they mostly involve support and/or direction. Bearing, for example, is the name given to a mechanical part that supports a moving joint — like a ball bearing. In buildings, bearings are walls or beams that support the building. In the same way, when you carry your body, you are bearing yourself up. Bearing also is used to talk about direction and travel: you could step off the sidewalk and nearly be run over by a car bearing north.

Definitions of bearing
  1. noun
    characteristic way of bearing one's body
    synonyms: carriage, posture
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    manner of walking, walk
    manner of walking
    a stooping carriage in standing and walking
    beautiful carriage
    awkwardness, clumsiness
    the carriage of someone whose movements and posture are ungainly or inelegant
    grace, gracility
    elegance and beauty of movement or expression
    agility, legerity, lightness, lightsomeness, nimbleness
    the gracefulness of a person or animal that is quick and nimble
    lissomeness, litheness, suppleness
    the gracefulness of a person or animal that is flexible and supple
    gracelessness, ungracefulness
    an unpleasant lack of grace in carriage or form or movement or expression
    gawkiness, ungainliness
    the carriage of someone whose movements and posture are extremely ungainly and inelegant
    the property of moving with pain or difficulty
    type of:
    bodily property
    an attribute of the body
  2. noun
    a person's manner or conduct
    synonyms: comportment, mien, presence
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    dignity, gravitas, lordliness
    formality in bearing and appearance
    type of:
    manner, personal manner
    a way of acting or behaving
  3. adjective
    (of a structural member) withstanding a weight or strain
    load-bearing, supporting
    capable of bearing a structural load
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    (of a structural member) supporting no vertical weight other than its own
  4. noun
    a rotating support placed between moving parts to allow them to move easily
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    ball bearing, needle bearing, roller bearing
    bearings containing small metal balls
    fifth wheel
    a steering bearing that enables the front axle of a horse-drawn wagon to rotate
    journal bearing
    the bearing of a journal
    thrust bearing
    a bearing designed to take thrusts parallel to the axis of revolution
    a journal bearing (as of a railroad car) that has overheated
    type of:
    any device that bears the weight of another thing
  5. noun
    relevant relation or interconnection
    “those issues have no bearing on our situation”
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    type of:
    a particular manner of connectedness
  6. noun
    the direction or path along which something moves or along which it lies
    synonyms: aim, heading
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    the heading or position of a vessel relative to the trim of its sails
    type of:
    direction, way
    a line leading to a place or point
  7. noun
    a person's awareness of self with regard to position and time and place and personal relationships
    synonyms: orientation
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    type of:
    awareness of your own individuality
  8. noun
    heraldry consisting of a design or image depicted on a shield
    synonyms: armorial bearing, charge, heraldic bearing
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    annulet, roundel
    (heraldry) a charge in the shape of a circle
    an inverted V-shaped charge
    fleur-de-lis, fleur-de-lys
    (heraldry) a conventionalized representation of an iris
    (heraldry) any of several conventional figures used on shields
    bend, bend dexter
    diagonal line traversing a shield from the upper right corner to the lower left
    fess, fesse
    (heraldry) an ordinary consisting of a broad horizontal band across a shield
    bar sinister, bend sinister
    a mark of bastardy; lines from top right to bottom left
    type of:
    emblem indicating the right of a person to bear arms
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