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 weepRelated formsbleat·er, nounbleat·ing·ly, adverbout·bleat, verb (used with object)
Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019
Examples from the Web for bleat
Historical Examples of bleat
"I hate all this bleat about the Middle Ages," Gilbert exclaimed.
And as I enter the little village, I am greeted by the bleat of sheep and the low of the kine.
I heard the bleat of a lamb or kid, and it pierced the melancholy roar of the sea.
But though on that evening a basso did bleat, it may be that he was not bubonic.
More like the bleat of an innocent calf,” said Roberts—“eh, Bracy?
British Dictionary definitions for bleat
(intr) (of a sheep, goat, or calf) to utter its characteristic plaintive cry
(intr) to speak with any similar sound
to whine; whimper
Derived Formsbleater, nounbleating, noun, adjective
the characteristic cry of sheep, goats, and young calves
any sound similar to this
a weak complaint or whine
Word Origin for bleat
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
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Word Origin and History for bleat
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