Bear a grudge


      • hold resentment
        to continue to feel anger or bitterness towards someone for something they did in the past

      • seek revenge
        to harbor and nurture feelings of animosity towards someone and plan to retaliate for a perceived wrong

    Examples of Bear a grudge

    • After their business deal went sour, John refused to speak to Sarah for months, evidently bearing a grudge against her.

      The expression "bear a grudge" refers to the act of harboring feelings of anger, resentment, or hostility towards someone over a past wrong or injustice. In this example, John's failure to communicate with Sarah indicates that he is still angry or resentful over the outcome of their previous business deal.

    • Despite their daughter's apologies, Michael and Susan refused to forgive her for breaking their family's antique vase, choosing instead to bear a grudge against her for years to come.

      This example demonstrates the persistence of holding a grudge, as the parents choose to maintain their anger and feelings of resentment towards their daughter, rather than forgive her and move on.

    • Emily's coworkers could not understand why she was still so hostile towards their manager, who had only given her constructive criticism during a team meeting last week. It seemed that Emily was bearing a grudge against her manager over a minor disagreement, which was preventing her from working cooperatively with the rest of the team.

      Here, the idiom "bear a grudge" is used to describe Emily's behavior, which involves holding onto negative feelings and persisting in them. Her coworkers do not comprehend her continued anger towards their manager, who only offered constructive criticism during a recent team meeting.

    • The team's dismal performance in the championship game left the coach fuming with anger, and he spent the next several months bearing a grudge against his team, refusing to speak to them or offer them any constructive criticism.

      This example shows the potential negative consequences of holding a grudge, as the coach's anger and resentment towards his team led to poor communication and a lack of guidance, which ultimately hindered the team's further progress.

    • Jenny's ex-boyfriend, Mark, bear a grudge against her because she cheated on him during their relationship.

      To bear a grudge is to keep a feeling of anger, resentment, or revenge towards someone because of a past wrong or insult. Mark is holding onto his negative feelings towards Jenny for her infidelity.

    • The neighbor, Mr. Lewis, bear a grudge against the new family who moved in next door. They accidentally let their dog run loose and it dug up Mr. Lewis' entire front yard.

      In this case, Mr. Lewis is angry at the new family for causing damage to his property. He is holding onto his anger and resentment towards them.

    • The former coach, Coach Thompson, bear a grudge against the star player, Jake, for quitting the team during the championship game last year.

      Here, Coach Thompson is still angry and resentful towards Jake for leaving the team during a crucial game. He is holding onto this feeling of animosity towards Jake.

    • The officer, Officer Hernandez, bear a grudge against the suspect, John, for fleeing during a police chase.

      Officer Hernandez is holding onto his anger and resentment towards John for escaping during the police chase. This grudge may influence how the officer treats John in future encounters.


    The idiom "bear a grudge" is used to describe the act of holding onto negative feelings towards someone for a past offense. It can also imply a desire for retaliation or revenge. This idiom is often used to caution against holding onto negative emotions and to encourage forgiveness and moving on from past grievances.

    Origin of "Bear a grudge"

    The origin of the idiom "bear a grudge" can be traced back to the 16th century. The word "bear" in this context means to carry or hold, while "grudge" refers to feelings of resentment or ill will. The expression likely originated from the idea of carrying a heavy burden of negative emotions, which can weigh a person down emotionally and mentally. Over time, it has become a widely used phrase to convey the idea of holding onto resentment or seeking retribution.

    The concept of "bearing a grudge" is a universal human experience, and the idiom reflects the common tendency to hold onto negative emotions. It serves as a reminder of the importance of letting go of past grievances and moving forward in a positive and forgiving manner. Examples of this idiom can be found in literature, historical texts, and everyday language, highlighting its enduring relevance in expressing feelings of resentment and the desire for revenge.