\ ˈblēt How to pronounce bleat (audio) , Northern also ˈblat, Southern usually ˈblāt\
bleated; bleating; bleats

Definition of bleat

 (Entry 1 of 2)

intransitive verb

1a : to make the natural cry of a sheep or goat also : to utter a similar sound
2a : to talk complainingly or with a whine

transitive verb

: to utter in a bleating manner



Definition of bleat (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : the cry of a sheep or goat also : a similar sound the bleat of a cell phone
2 : a feeble outcry, protest, or complaint

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Other Words from bleat


bleater noun

Examples of bleat in a Sentence

Verb The lamb bleated as I approached. “But why can't I go?” she bleated. The labor union is always bleating about the management. Noun a very patient, understanding person who accepts life's inconveniences without a bleat
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Recent Examples on the Web: Verb So a documentary about her life, no doubt filled with concert footage of her 1970s bleating? Amy Kaufmanstaff Writer, Los Angeles Times, "Linda Ronstadt on the sound of her life," 5 Sep. 2019 Cherney also raised the grand champion market lamb and positioned her beautiful animal in front of the crowd, smoothing the white fur on its back, and cupping its head as the creature occasionally bleated. Meg Jones, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Gov. Tony Evers sells his first livestock at State Fair auction," 7 Aug. 2019 Punch surveys the bleating lowlifes ringed around him on the beach, cheering, laughing, waiting for the next act, but their whoops sound fake, their howls of laughter hollow. Robert Coover, The New Yorker, "Citizen Punch," 18 July 2019 Goats and sheep staying in the barn bleated, and horses neighed as the crowd of people grew. David Anderson,, "Harford County Farm Fair opens with bout of severe weather," 23 July 2019 Usually, Hot Takes are Stephen A. Smith-ian bleats that involve all the intelligence of a ham sandwich. Paul Daugherty,, "Doc's Morning Line: Cincinnati Reds rebuild not over but David Bell has players' attention," 19 June 2019 At the moment, the entire herd is bleating and running frantically around their nearby pen. Jennifer Goldstein, Marie Claire, "Goat Milk Is the Secret to Beautiful Skin," 29 Nov. 2018 As a result of his top quality performance against the Reds over the weekend, many fans have taken to bleating out that Young 'pocketed' Salah, with the 32-year-old defender even getting in on the act himself., "Ashley Young Mocks Liverpool Star Mohamed Salah on Instagram Following Win at Old Trafford," 13 Mar. 2018 At first, some colleagues seem startled to hear her signature song’s bleating horns. Cassie Owens,, "Where have all the musical ringtones gone?," 24 May 2018 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun The Zoo’s popular Giant Panda Cam is one of the best ways to listen in for the chirps, honks, bleats, barks and squeals. Beth Py-lieberman, Smithsonian, "14 Fun Facts About Giant Pandas," 10 Aug. 2019 Across the glade a chorus of bleats drifts from a crumbling hut, shaped from thatch and earth. The Economist, "Housing microfinance can help poor people build better homes," 18 July 2019 And lurking within, at the foot of the holy mountain known as Nanda Devi, lies an inviolable Shangri-la of golden grassland, silent but for the rumble of avalanches and the plaintive bleats of wild sheep. National Geographic, "Why the world’s most daunting mountains inspire me," 11 Apr. 2019 The title comes from a baby deer’s bleat during mating season. Megan Friedman, Country Living, "Carrie Underwood’s Husband Mike Fisher Released a Hilarious Parody of ‘Before He Cheats’," 6 Nov. 2018 For every gunshot fired and a horn’s violent bleat, there is hope in the eyes of the last of the Last Poets., "Album reviews: The Last Poets, Snail Mail, Joshua Hedley," 14 June 2018 Hip-hop has been moving in this direction for the last few years, from Future’s purple opiate haze to Travis Scott’s head-in-the clouds bleats — styles that lend themselves easily to ambient bliss. New York Times, "Post Malone and Rae Sremmurd, Hip-Hop Impressionists Shaping the Stream," 9 May 2018 In an unseen orchestra that bleats and blares, an urgent trombone chorus heralds every leap into banality. Joe Morgenstern, WSJ, "‘Tomb Raider’ Review: Buried by Absurdity," 15 Mar. 2018 Not a sound from anywhere, save the occasional bleat from one of the Hansens' sheep. Boris Fishman, Smithsonian, "This Lake Is One of Montana’s Best Kept Secrets," 16 Aug. 2017

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'bleat.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of bleat


before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at intransitive sense 1a


1508, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for bleat


Middle English bleten, from Old English blǣtan; akin to Latin flēre to weep, Old English bellan to roar — more at bellow

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Statistics for bleat

Time Traveler for bleat

The first known use of bleat was before the 12th century

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More Definitions for bleat


How to pronounce bleat (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of bleat

: to make the sound that a sheep or goat makes
disapproving : to speak or complain in an annoying way


\ ˈblēt How to pronounce bleat (audio) \
bleated; bleating

Kids Definition of bleat

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: to make the cry of a sheep, goat, or calf



Kids Definition of bleat (Entry 2 of 2)

: the sound made by a sheep, goat, or calf

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More from Merriam-Webster on bleat

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for bleat

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with bleat

Spanish Central: Translation of bleat

Nglish: Translation of bleat for Spanish Speakers

Comments on bleat

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


meddlesome, informal, or unofficial

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