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See more synonyms for bleat on Thesaurus.com
verb (used without object)
  1. to utter the cry of a sheep, goat, or calf or a sound resembling such a cry.
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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.
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  1. the cry of a sheep, goat, or calf.
  2. any similar sound: the bleat of distant horns.
  3. foolish, complaining talk; babble: I listened to their inane bleat all evening.
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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 formsbleat·er, nounbleat·ing·ly, adverbout·bleat, verb (used with object)
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words for bleated

squawk, yelp, wail, screech, rasp, peep, shriek, howl, moan, weep, growl, exclaim, shout, whoop, cheer, holler, coo, bark, grunt, scream

Examples from the Web for bleated

Historical Examples of bleated

  • "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.

  • 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.

  • "It's a cheap, plain trick," bleated the aged steamship manager.

British Dictionary definitions for bleated


  1. (intr) (of a sheep, goat, or calf) to utter its characteristic plaintive cry
  2. (intr) to speak with any similar sound
  3. to whine; whimper
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  1. the characteristic cry of sheep, goats, and young calves
  2. any sound similar to this
  3. a weak complaint or whine
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Derived Formsbleater, nounbleating, noun, adjective

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 Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

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.

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c.1500, from bleat (v.).

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper