\ ˈbāt How to pronounce bate (audio) \
bated; bating

Definition of bate

 (Entry 1 of 2)

transitive verb

1 : to reduce the force or intensity of : restrain waited with bated breath
2 : to take away : deduct That grave and orderly senior was not going to bate a jot of his dignity …— George Eliot
3 archaic : to lower especially in amount or estimation And I shall have to bate my price …— A. E. Housman
4 archaic : blunt And now I have bated your curiosity …— J. F. Cooper

intransitive verb

obsolete : diminish, decrease The wind is bating.
bated; bating

Definition of bate (Entry 2 of 2)

intransitive verb

of a falcon or hawk
: to attempt to fly off something (such as a gauntlet) in fear

First Known Use of bate

Verb (1)

14th century, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1

Verb (2)

14th century, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for bate

Verb (1)

Middle English, short for abaten to abate

Verb (2)

Middle English, from Middle French batre to beat, from Latin battuere

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about bate

Time Traveler for bate

Time Traveler

The first known use of bate was in the 14th century

See more words from the same century

Statistics for bate

Cite this Entry

“Bate.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/bate. Accessed 5 Jun. 2020.

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for bate

bate

verb
\ ˈbāt How to pronounce bate (audio) \
bated; bating

Kids Definition of bate

: to reduce the force or intensity of … with parted lips and bated breath the audience hung upon his words …— Mark Twain, Tom Sawyer

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on bate

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for bate

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with bate

Spanish Central: Translation of bate

Nglish: Translation of bate for Spanish Speakers

Comments on bate

What made you want to look up bate? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

See Definitions and Examples »

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

May 2020 Words of the Day Quiz

  • a blooming wisteria tree
  • Which is a synonym of exiguous?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

TAKE THE QUIZ
Dictionary Devil

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!