verb \ˈbāt\

: to put a piece of food on (a hook) or in (a trap) in order to attract and catch fish or animals

: to try to make (someone) angry by using criticism or insults

: to use dogs to make (an animal, such as a bear or bull) angry or afraid

Full Definition of BAIT

transitive verb
a :  to persecute or exasperate with unjust, malicious, or persistent attacks
b :  tease
a :  to harass (as a chained animal) with dogs usually for sport
b :  to attack by biting and tearing
a :  to furnish with bait
b :  entice, lure
:  to give food and drink to (an animal) especially on the road
intransitive verb
archaic :  to stop for food and rest when traveling
bait·er noun

Examples of BAIT

  1. baiting hooks with live worms
  2. The interviewer kept baiting the politician by asking him whether he was lying.

Origin of BAIT

Middle English, from Old Norse beita; akin to Old English ̄tan to bait, bītan to bite — more at bite
First Known Use: 13th century

Synonym Discussion of BAIT

bait, badger, heckle, hector, chivy, hound mean to harass by efforts to break down. bait implies wanton cruelty or delight in persecuting a helpless victim <baited the chained dog>. badger implies pestering so as to drive a person to confusion or frenzy <badgered her father for a car>. heckle implies persistent annoying or belligerent interruptions of a speaker <drunks heckled the stand-up comic>. hector carries an implication of bullying and domineering <football players hectored by their coach>. chivy suggests persecution by teasing or nagging <chivied the new student mercilessly>. hound implies unrelenting pursuit and harassing <hounded by creditors>.



: something (such as a piece of food) that is used to attract fish or animals so they can be caught

Full Definition of BAIT

a :  something (as food) used in luring especially to a hook or trap
b :  a poisonous material placed where it will be eaten by harmful or objectionable animals

Examples of BAIT

  1. cheese used for bait in mousetraps
  2. Wait until the fish takes the bait.
  3. a wide selection of lures and baits

Origin of BAIT

Middle English, from Old Norse beit pasturage & beita food; akin to Old English bītan to bite
First Known Use: 14th century

Other Hunting and Fishing Terms

chum, covert, creel, flense, pitfall, seine, skulk, spoor, trawl


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