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1 definition found
 for To take bearings
From The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48 :

  Bearing \Bear"ing\ (b[^a]r"[i^]ng), n.
     1. The manner in which one bears or conducts one's self;
        mien; behavior; carriage.
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              I know him by his bearing.            --Shak.
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     2. Patient endurance; suffering without complaint.
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     3. The situation of one object, with respect to another, such
        situation being supposed to have a connection with the
        object, or influence upon it, or to be influenced by it;
        hence, relation; connection.
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              But of this frame, the bearings and the ties,
              The strong connections, nice dependencies. --Pope.
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     4. Purport; meaning; intended significance; aspect.
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     5. The act, power, or time of producing or giving birth; as,
        a tree in full bearing; a tree past bearing.
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              [His mother] in travail of his bearing. --R. of
                                                    Gloucester.
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     6. (Arch.)
        (a) That part of any member of a building which rests upon
            its supports; as, a lintel or beam may have four
            inches of bearing upon the wall.
        (b) The portion of a support on which anything rests.
        (c) Improperly, the unsupported span; as, the beam has
            twenty feet of bearing between its supports.
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     7. (Mach.)
        (a) The part of an axle or shaft in contact with its
            support, collar, or boxing; the journal.
        (b) The part of the support on which a journal rests and
            rotates.
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     8. (Her.) Any single emblem or charge in an escutcheon or
        coat of arms -- commonly in the pl.
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              A carriage covered with armorial bearings.
                                                    --Thackeray.
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     9. (Naut.)
        (a) The situation of a distant object, with regard to a
            ship's position, as on the bow, on the lee quarter,
            etc.; the direction or point of the compass in which
            an object is seen; as, the bearing of the cape was W.
            N. W.
        (b) pl. The widest part of a vessel below the plank-sheer.
        (c) pl. The line of flotation of a vessel when properly
            trimmed with cargo or ballast.
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     Ball bearings. See under Ball.
  
     To bring one to his bearings, to bring one to his senses.
        
  
     To lose one's bearings, to become bewildered.
  
     To take bearings, to ascertain by the compass the position
        of an object; to ascertain the relation of one object or
        place to another; to ascertain one's position by reference
        to landmarks or to the compass; hence (Fig.), to ascertain
        the condition of things when one is in trouble or
        perplexity.
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     Syn: Deportment; gesture; mien; behavior; manner; carriage;
          demeanor; port; conduct; direction; relation; tendency;
          influence.
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