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bait

[ beyt ]
/ beɪt /
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noun

verb (used with object)

verb (used without object) Archaic.

to stop for food or refreshment during a journey.
(of a horse or other animal) to take food; feed.

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Origin of bait

First recorded in 1150–1200; Middle English bait, beit (noun), baiten (verb), from Old Norse, probably reflecting both beita “to pasture, hunt, chase with dogs or hawks” (ultimately causative of bíta “to bite”) and beita “fish bait”; cf. bite, bate3
baiter, nouno·ver·bait, verb (used with object)re·bait, verb (used with object)un·bait, verb (used with object)
1. bait , bate2. baited , bated
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2021

British Dictionary definitions for bait (1 of 2)

bait1
/ (beɪt) /

noun

verb

C13: from Old Norse beita to hunt, persecute; related to Old English bǣtan to restrain, hunt, Old High German beizen
The phrase with bated breath is sometimes wrongly spelled with baited breath

British Dictionary definitions for bait (2 of 2)

bait2
/ (beɪt) /

verb

a variant spelling of bate 2
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

Idioms and Phrases with bait

bait

The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.
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