Definition of bear garden in English:

bear garden

Line breaks: bear gar¦den
Pronunciation: /ˈbɛːgɑːd(ə)n
 
/
(also bear pit)

noun

A scene of uproar and confusion: he appeared at the bear garden of a conference
More example sentences
  • Over the years, I have watched ‘New’ Labour whizzkids turn conference from a passionate bear pit, which party leaders sometimes ignored at their peril, to an impotent parade of the on message.
  • We will next week see less of a British party conference and more like a US-style Blackpool caucus - a bear pit where candidates will be heckled and sized up by constituency chairman who will report their thoughts back to party members.
  • This year's Labour conference will be a walkover rather than a bear pit.

Origin

late 16th century: bear from bear2. The original sense was 'a place set apart for bear-baiting'; bear gardens were often used for other rough sports, hence the figurative meaning.

Get more from Oxford Dictionaries

Subscribe to remove adverts and access premium resources

Word of the day envenom
Pronunciation: ɪnˈvɛnəm
verb
put poison on or into; make poisonous