[ bleet ]
See synonyms for: bleatbleatedbleating on

verb (used without object)
  1. to utter the cry of a sheep, goat, or calf or a sound resembling such a cry.

verb (used with object)
  1. to give forth with or as if with a bleat: He bleated his objections in a helpless rage.

  2. to babble; prate.

  1. the cry of a sheep, goat, or calf.

  2. any similar sound: the bleat of distant horns.

  1. 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

Other words from bleat

  • bleater, noun
  • bleat·ing·ly, adverb
  • outbleat, verb (used with object)

Words Nearby bleat Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2024

How to use bleat in a sentence

  • Lying on my back inside the narrow tube, I had swallowed my claustrophobia and let myself be enveloped in darkness and a cacophony of foghorn-like bleats.

  • The poor child didn't understand why Teacher Thomas should stare so at her, and she let out one long, unending bleat.

  • Let blue flames rise from the living sulphur and the sheep bleat loud as she feels the touch of the smoking sulphur.

  • As one company passed, the measured bleat and squeal of the pipes faded and merged into a sound heralding the approach of another.

    The Relief of Mafeking | Filson Young
  • It was a half-bred Angora kid—the little animal whose bleat we had heard.

    A Frontier Mystery | Bertram Mitford
  • A shrill bleat came to our ears—came from the bush on the further side of the hole to us, but still a little way beyond it.

    A Frontier Mystery | Bertram Mitford

British Dictionary definitions for bleat


/ (bliːt) /

  1. (intr) (of a sheep, goat, or calf) to utter its characteristic plaintive cry

  2. (intr) to speak with any similar sound

  1. to whine; whimper

  1. the characteristic cry of sheep, goats, and young calves

  2. any sound similar to this

  1. a weak complaint or whine

Origin of bleat

Old English blǣtan; related to Old High German blāzen, Dutch blaten, Latin flēre to weep; see blare

Derived forms of bleat

  • bleater, noun
  • bleating, noun, adjective

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