bay

adjective
\ˈbā \

Definition of bay 

(Entry 1 of 7)

: reddish brown a bay mare

bay

noun (1)

Definition of bay (Entry 2 of 7)

1 : an animal that is a reddish-brown color : a bay (see bay entry 1) animal specifically : a horse with a bay-colored body and black mane, tail, and points (see point entry 1 sense 6b(3)) — compare chestnut entry 1 sense 4, sorrel entry 1 sense 1

2 : a reddish brown

bay

noun (2)

Definition of bay (Entry 3 of 7)

1 architecture : a principal compartment of the walls, roof, or other part of a building or of the whole building … the transverse arches and adjacent piers of the arcade divide the building into bays— Helen Gardner

2 architecture : a main division of a structure a barn with three bays

3 : any of various compartments or sections used for a special purpose (as in an airplane, spacecraft, or gas station) a bomb bay a cargo bay

5 : a support or housing for electronic equipment

bay

verb
bayed; baying; bays

Definition of bay (Entry 4 of 7)

intransitive verb

1 : to bark with prolonged tones dogs baying at the moon

2 : to cry out : shout a baying crowd

transitive verb

1 : to bark at dogs baying the moon

2 : to bring to the position of one unable to retreat and forced to face danger : to bring to bay (see bay entry 5 sense 2) hounds baying a fox

3 : to pursue with barking … dogs baying and driving him up a tree …— Charles Darwin

4 : to utter in deep prolonged tones

bay

noun (3)

Definition of bay (Entry 5 of 7)

1 : an instance of a dog barking with prolonged tones : a baying (see bay entry 4 sense 1) of dogs followed the trail in full bay

2 : the position of one unable to retreat and forced to face danger brought the boar to bay

3 : the position of one checked police kept the rioters at bay

bay

noun (4), often attributive

Definition of bay (Entry 6 of 7)

1 : an inlet of the sea or other body of water usually smaller than a gulf

2 : a small body of water set off from the main body

3 : any of various terrestrial formations resembling a bay of the sea a bay of prairie

bay

noun (5)

Definition of bay (Entry 7 of 7)

1 botany

a : laurel sense 1

b : any of several shrubs or trees (such as the red bay or sweet bay) resembling the laurel — compare bay rum

2a : a garland or crown especially of laurel given as a prize for victory or excellence had won the bays

b : honor, fame usually used in plural The patriot's honours and the poet's bays.— John Trumbull

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Examples of bay in a Sentence

Verb

the mob was baying for revenge the lonesome beagle bayed whenever someone walked by

First Known Use of bay

Adjective

14th century, in the meaning defined above

Noun (1)

1535, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Noun (2)

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Verb

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

Noun (3)

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Noun (4)

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Noun (5)

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for bay

Adjective

Middle English, from Anglo-French bai, from Latin badius; akin to Old Irish buide yellow

Noun (1)

noun derivative of bay entry 1

Noun (2)

Middle English, from Anglo-French baee opening, from feminine of baé, past participle of baer to be wide open, gape, from Vulgar Latin *batare

Verb

Middle English baien, abaien, from Anglo-French abaier, of imitative origin

Noun (3)

Middle English bai, abai, borrowed from Anglo-French abai, noun derivative of abaier "to bay entry 4"

Noun (4)

Middle English baye, from Anglo-French bai, perhaps from baer to be wide open

Noun (5)

Middle English, berry, laurel berry, from Anglo-French bai, from L. baca

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Learn More about bay

Dictionary Entries near bay

bawneen

Baxter

Baxterian

bay

baya

bayacura root

bayadere

Statistics for bay

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for bay

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

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More Definitions for bay

bay

verb

English Language Learners Definition of bay

: to bark with long sounds

: to shout or cry out in a loud and often angry way

bay

noun
\ˈbā \

Kids Definition of bay

 (Entry 1 of 5)

1 : a reddish-brown horse with black mane, tail, and lower legs

2 : a reddish brown

bay

verb
bayed; baying

Kids Definition of bay (Entry 2 of 5)

: to bark or bark at with long deep tones We heard dogs baying at the moon.

bay

noun

Kids Definition of bay (Entry 3 of 5)

1 : a deep bark

2 : the position of an animal or a person forced to face pursuers when it is impossible to escape Hunters brought the wild boar to bay.

3 : the position of someone or something held off or kept back He kept the hounds at bay. She held her fear at bay.

bay

noun

Kids Definition of bay (Entry 4 of 5)

: a part of a large body of water extending into the land

bay

noun

Kids Definition of bay (Entry 5 of 5)

: the laurel or a related tree or shrub

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More from Merriam-Webster on bay

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with bay

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for bay

Spanish Central: Translation of bay

Nglish: Translation of bay for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of bay for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about bay

Comments on bay

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