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rise to the bait

Be tempted by or react to an enticement, as in We told him there'd be lots of single young women at the party, and he rose to the bait. Likening a fish rising to bait to human behavior dates from the late 1500s.

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