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[bleet] /blit/
verb (used without object)
to utter the cry of a sheep, goat, or calf or a sound resembling such a cry.
verb (used with object)
to give forth with or as if with a bleat:
He bleated his objections in a helpless rage.
to babble; prate.
the cry of a sheep, goat, or calf.
any similar sound:
the bleat of distant horns.
foolish, complaining talk; babble:
I listened to their inane bleat all evening.
Origin of bleat
before 1000; Middle English bleten, Old English blǣtan; cognate with Dutch blaten, Old High German blāzen; akin to Latin flēre to weep
Related forms
bleater, noun
bleatingly, adverb
outbleat, verb (used with object) Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for bleated
Historical Examples
  • "The both of 'em says they're goin' to do fer you," bleated Mr. Bardlock.

    The Gentleman From Indiana Booth Tarkington
  • He bleated in distress and scrambled out of that hard and painful place.

    Tales of Fishes Zane Grey
  • They came to me separately: one bleated, another screamed, one howled.

    Lord Jim Joseph Conrad
  • Some of them bleated like lambs, and some of them turled like turtles.

    The Book of the Damned Charles Fort
  • "It's a cheap, plain trick," bleated the aged steamship manager.

    Blow The Man Down Holman Day
  • “I must protest,” Blaise bleated, but Brilliana would not listen to him.

    The Lady of Loyalty House Justin Huntly McCarthy
  • He hid in a corner, puffed out his cheeks, and bleated like a calf.

    Jewish Children Sholem Naumovich Rabinovich
  • When Mr. Lee first brought the lamb home, it cried, or bleated, continually.

    Minnie's Pet Lamb Madeline Leslie
  • The poor little goat, in great alarm, lowered his horns and bleated.

    Notre-Dame de Paris Victor Hugo
  • Then the old one bleated, and went on her way with an easy mind.

    Grimms' Fairy Tales The Brothers Grimm
British Dictionary definitions for bleated


(intransitive) (of a sheep, goat, or calf) to utter its characteristic plaintive cry
(intransitive) to speak with any similar sound
to whine; whimper
the characteristic cry of sheep, goats, and young calves
any sound similar to this
a weak complaint or whine
Derived Forms
bleater, noun
bleating, noun, adjective
Word Origin
Old English blǣtan; related to Old High German blāzen, Dutch blaten, Latin flēre to weep; see blare
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for bleated



Old English blætan, from West Germanic *bhle- (cf. Dutch blaten "to bleat"), of imitative origin (cf. Greek blekhe "a bleating; the wailing of children," Old Church Slavonic blejat "to bleat," Latin flere "to weep"). Related: Bleated; bleating.



c.1500, from bleat (v.).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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