bay

1
[ bey ]
/ beɪ /

noun

a body of water forming an indentation of the shoreline, larger than a cove but smaller than a gulf.
South Atlantic States. an arm of a swamp.
a recess of land, partly surrounded by hills.
an arm of a prairie or swamp, extending into woods and partly surrounded by them.

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Origin of bay

1
First recorded in 1350–1400; Middle English bai, baye, from Middle French baie, from Medieval Latin, Late Latin bāia; further origin uncertain; perhaps by back formation from Latin Bāiae, name of a spa on the Bay of Naples; perhaps of Iberian or Celtic origin

WORDS THAT MAY BE CONFUSED WITH bay

bay , cove, gulf, inlet

Definition for bay (2 of 5)

bay2
[ bey ]
/ beɪ /

noun

Architecture.
  1. any of a number of similar major vertical divisions of a large interior, wall, etc.: The nave is divided into six bays.
  2. a division of a window between a mullion and an adjoining mullion or jamb.
  3. bay window (def. 1).
Aeronautics.
  1. any portion of an airplane set off by two successive bulkheads or other bracing members.
  2. a compartment in an aircraft: a bomb bay; an engine bay.
a compartment, as in a barn for storing hay.
Also called drive bay .Computers. an open compartment in the console housing a computer's CPU in which a disk drive, tape drive, etc., may be installed.
Nautical.
  1. the deck space between the anchor windlass and the stem of a vessel.
  2. sick bay.

Origin of bay

2
First recorded in 1275–1325; Middle English, from Middle French baée “an opening in a wall,” noun use of feminine past participle of baer “to stand open, gape,” from unattested Vulgar Latin batāre “to yawn, gape”

Definition for bay (3 of 5)

bay3
[ bey ]
/ beɪ /

noun

verb (used without object)

to howl, especially with a deep, prolonged sound, as a hound on the scent.

verb (used with object)

to assail with deep, prolonged howling: a troubled hound baying the moon.
to bring to or to hold at bay: A dog bays its quarry.

Origin of bay

3
First recorded in 1250–1300; Middle English, shortening of abai, abay, from Anglo-French, dialectal Old French abai “barking,” derivative of abaier “to bark,” of imitative origin

Definition for bay (4 of 5)

bay4
[ bey ]
/ beɪ /

noun

Also called bayberry, bay rum tree . a tropical American shrub, Pimenta racemosa, having aromatic leaves that are used in making bay oil and bay rum.
any of various laurellike trees or shrubs.
any of several magnolias.
an honorary garland or crown bestowed for military victory, literary excellence, etc.
bays, Literary. fame; renown: Tennyson had fairly won his bays.

Origin of bay

4
First recorded in 1350–1400; Middle English bai(e), Old English beg- (in begbēam “a tree that bears berries”), conflated with Middle French baie, from Latin bāca, bacca “berry”

Definition for bay (5 of 5)

bay5
[ bey ]
/ beɪ /

noun

reddish brown.
a horse or other animal of reddish-brown color.

adjective

(of horses or other animals) having a reddish-brown body.

Origin of bay

5
First recorded in 1300–50; Middle English, from Middle French bai, from Latin badius “bay, chestnut, chestnut brown”; akin only to Old Irish buide “yellow”
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2020

Example sentences from the Web for bay

British Dictionary definitions for bay (1 of 5)

bay1
/ (beɪ) /

noun

a wide semicircular indentation of a shoreline, esp between two headlands or peninsulas
an extension of lowland into hills that partly surround it
US an extension of prairie into woodland

Word Origin for bay

C14: from Old French baie, perhaps from Old French baer to gape, from Medieval Latin batāre to yawn

British Dictionary definitions for bay (2 of 5)

bay2
/ (beɪ) /

noun

Word Origin for bay

C14: from Old French baee gap or recess in a wall, from baer to gape; see bay 1

British Dictionary definitions for bay (3 of 5)

bay3
/ (beɪ) /

noun

a deep howl or growl, esp of a hound on the scent
at bay
  1. (of a person or animal) forced to turn and face attackersthe dogs held the deer at bay
  2. at a distanceto keep a disease at bay
bring to bay to force into a position from which retreat is impossible

verb

(intr) to howl (at) in deep prolonged tones
(tr) to utter in a loud prolonged tone
(tr) to drive to or hold at bay

Word Origin for bay

C13: from Old French abaiier to bark, of imitative origin

British Dictionary definitions for bay (4 of 5)

bay4
/ (beɪ) /

noun

Also called: bay laurel, sweet bay a small evergreen Mediterranean laurel, Laurus nobilis, with glossy aromatic leaves, used for flavouring in cooking, and small blackish berriesSee laurel (def. 1)
any of various other trees with strongly aromatic leaves used in cooking, esp a member of the genera Myrica or Pimenta
any of several magnoliasSee sweet bay
any of certain other trees or shrubs, esp bayberry
(plural) a wreath of bay leavesSee laurel (def. 6)

Word Origin for bay

C14: from Old French baie laurel berry, from Latin bāca berry

British Dictionary definitions for bay (5 of 5)

bay5
/ (beɪ) /

noun

  1. a moderate reddish-brown colour
  2. (as adjective)a bay horse
an animal of this colour, esp a horse

Word Origin for bay

C14: from Old French bai, from Latin badius
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

Scientific definitions for bay

bay
[ bā ]

A body of water partially enclosed by land but having a wide outlet to the sea. A bay is usually smaller than a gulf.
A space in the cabinet of a personal computer where a storage device, such as a disk drive or CD-ROM drive, can be installed.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

Idioms and Phrases with bay

bay

see at bay.

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