Bait dictionary definition | bait defined

Definitions

noun

  1. The definition of bait is a person, place, or thing used to attract.

    1. An example of bait is the worm used on the end of a pole to attract fish.
    2. An example of bait is the poisonous trap used for killing ants in the house.
    3. An example of bait is a sheep left out in a field in order to lure the wolf.

verb

  1. Bait is defined as to tempt someone or something.

    An example of bait is setting out delicious smelling cinnamon rolls for sampling in an attempt to get people to buy more cinnamon rolls.

  2. Bait means to upset through saying and/or doing something that will annoy or hurt another.

    1. An example of bait is when an investigator is interviewing a suspect, and he says insulting and demeaning things to get the person upset in order to judge his reactions.
    2. An example of bait is to whip a dog mercilessly, causing him to attack and bite another dog in a fight.

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bait

    1. to set attacking dogs against: people formerly baited chained bears for sport
    2. to attack as such dogs do
  1. to torment or harass with unprovoked, vicious, repeated attacks
  2. to tease or goad, esp. so as to provoke a reaction
  3. to put food, etc. on (a hook or trap) to lure animals or fish
  4. to lure; tempt; entice
  5. Archaic to feed (animals) during a break in a journey

Origin of bait

Middle English

baiten

from Old Norse

beita

from Germanic an unverified form

baitian,

causative of an unverified form

bitan

: for base see bite

Archaic to stop for food during a journey

  1. food, etc. put on a hook or trap to lure fish or animals
  2. anything used as a lure; enticement
  3. Dial. a large amount: we wolfed down a bait of huckleberries
  4. Archaic a stop for rest or food during a journey

Origin of bait

ON

beita,

lure, fish bait

Webster’s New World College Dictionary, Fifth Edition Copyright © 2014 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

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bait

noun

  1. a. Food or other lure placed on a hook or in a trap and used in the taking of fish, birds, or other animals.

    b. Something, such as a worm, used for this purpose.

  2. An enticement, temptation, or provocation: He did not take the bait by responding to the taunt and getting drawn into an argument.

verb

bait·ed, bait·ing, baits

verb

transitive

  1. To place a lure in (a trap) or on (a fishing hook).
  2. To entice or provoke, especially by trickery or strategy: He baited me into selling him my bike by saying how much I deserved a better one.
  3. To set dogs upon (a chained animal, for example) for sport.
  4. To taunt or torment (someone), as with persistent insults or ridicule: “He baited him mercilessly and had all sorts of unpleasant names for him” ( Ruth Prawer Jhabvala )
  5. To feed (an animal), especially on a journey.

verb

intransitive Archaic

To stop for food or rest during a trip.

Origin of bait

Middle English

from

Old Norse

beita food, fodder, fish bait V., from

Old Norse

beita to put animals to pasture, hunt with dogs

; see

bheid-

in Indo-European roots.

Related Forms:

  • bait′er

    noun

Usage Note: The word baited is sometimes incorrectly substituted for the etymologically correct but unfamiliar word bated (“abated; suspended”) in the expression bated breath.

THE AMERICAN HERITAGE® DICTIONARY OF THE ENGLISH LANGUAGE, FIFTH EDITION by the Editors of the American Heritage Dictionaries. Copyright © 2016, 2011 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

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“Bait.” YourDictionary. LoveToKnow. www.yourdictionary.com/Bait.

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Bait. (n.d.). In YourDictionary. Retrieved from https://www.yourdictionary.com/Bait

Noun

(plural baits)

  1. Any substance, especially food, used in catching fish, or other animals, by alluring them to a hook, snare, trap, or net.
  2. Food containing poison or a harmful additive to kill animals that are pests.
  3. Anything which allures; a lure; enticement; temptation.
  4. A portion of food or drink, as a refreshment taken on a journey; also, a stop for rest and refreshment.
  5. A light or hasty luncheon.

Usage notes

Used in Geordie dialect of English to denote your lunch at work as opposed to other meals. Also used in East Anglian dialect of English to denote a small meal taken mid-morning while farming, and in the North of England to denote a snack taken by miners to eat while working.

Verb

(third-person singular simple present baits, present participle baiting, simple past and past participle baited)

  1. To attract with bait; to entice.
  2. To affix bait to a trap or a fishing hook or fishing line.

Usage notes

  1. This verb is sometimes confused in writing with the rare verb bate, which is pronounced identically; in particular, the expression with bated breath is frequently misspelled *with baited breath by writers unfamiliar with the verb bate.

Origin

From Middle English bait, beite, from Old Norse beita (“food, bait”), from Proto-Germanic *baitō (“that which is bitten, bait”), from Proto-Indo-European *bʰeyd- (“to cleave, split, separate”). Cognate with German Beize (“mordant, corrosive fluid; marinade; hunting”), Old English bāt (“that which can be bitten, food, bait”). Related to bite.

Verb

(third-person singular simple present baits, present participle baiting, simple past and past participle baited)

  1. To set dogs on (an animal etc.) to bite or worry; to attack with dogs, especially for sport.to bait a bear with dogs; to bait a bull
  2. To intentionally annoy, torment, or threaten by constant rebukes or threats; to harass.
  3. (now rare) To feed and water (a horse or other animal), especially during a journey.
  4. (intransitive) Of a horse or other animal: to take food, especially during a journey.
  5. To stop to take a portion of food and drink for refreshment during a journey.

Origin

From Middle English baiten, beiten, from Old Norse beita (“to bait, cause to bite, feed, hunt”), from Proto-Germanic *baitijaną (“to cause to bite, bridle”), from Proto-Indo-European *bʰeyd- (“to cleave, split, separate”). Cognate with Icelandic beita (“to bait”), Swedish beta (“to bait, pasture, graze”), German beizen (“to cause to bite, bait”), Old English bǣtan (“to bait, hunt, bridle, bit”).

Verb

(third-person singular simple present baits, present participle baiting, simple past and past participle baited)

  1. (obsolete, intransitive) To flap the wings; to flutter as if to fly; or to hover, as a hawk when she stoops to her prey.

Origin

French battre de l’aile or des ailes, to flap or flutter.

See also: bàit

English Wiktionary. Available under CC-BY-SA license.

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Cite this page

MLA Style

“Bait.” YourDictionary. LoveToKnow. www.yourdictionary.com/Bait.

APA Style

Bait. (n.d.). In YourDictionary. Retrieved from https://www.yourdictionary.com/Bait

Synonyms

SentencesSentence examples

Sentence Examples

  • Maybe they knew what kind of bait to throw out.
  • She tossed out the verbal bait and waited for him to strike.
  • I brought a pole, but I don’t have any bait for catfish.
  • Why not take the bait and tell him about Keaton.
  • She purposely didn’t take the bait that Gabriel might choose his ex over her.

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