\ 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 Even those inside that didn’t come out must have heard the truck horns moaning, the air brakes bleating, the hymn of an industrial funeral. New York Times, "‘Sharks in the Time of Saviors,’ by Kawai Strong Washburn: An Excerpt," 31 Mar. 2020 The buck bleated several times but soon stopped struggling. Paul A. Smith, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Smith: SW Wisconsin CWD, deer and predator research project in final year of field work," 14 Mar. 2020 The season opens with the faintest noise: A single French horn bleats a plaintive melody while a platoon of hoary men from the Royal Mail service, all wearing dark suits, shuffles into a stateroom in Buckingham Palace. Rachel Syme, The New Republic, "The Dramatic Detachment of The Crown," 12 Dec. 2019 The constant hum of their bleating in the competition barns provided a soundtrack to Monday’s exhibition, accompanied by a muted aroma of hay and manure. Ashley Mcbride,, "Youth compete in San Antonio stock show tradition: ‘Our sheep are our best friends’," 11 Feb. 2020 Gobble, quack, and bleat your way to a close encounter with these tools. John Kennedy, Popular Science, "Four whistles and instruments you can use to call wildlife," 7 Jan. 2020 His go-to calls during this phase are the Primos Buck Roar grunt tube and the Original Can bleat call. Jarrod Spilger, Field & Stream, "How to Call Whitetails During Each Phase of the Season," 6 Dec. 2019 In the courtyard of the 18th-century Palais Rohan, now a municipal museum, a life-size wooden crèche (nativity scene) has been installed, complete with real bleating sheep. The Economist, "France’s complicated relationship with Christmas," 18 Dec. 2019 State troopers said throughout the video, the deer makes grunting or bleating sounds. oregonlive, "Man arrested in Harney County after video shows him riding a buck trapped inside a fence, police say," 11 Dec. 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun The alarm continued its steady bleat, the volume seeming to increase. Emma Cline, The New Yorker, "White Noise," 1 June 2020 Hungry fawns often make a soft bleat that has a begging tone to it. Jarrod Spilger, Field & Stream, "How to Call Whitetails During Each Phase of the Season," 6 Dec. 2019 Solar Sister, so tell us—how to, how to disassemble our fragile empire without ballooning the glottal-bleat system for another. Aria Aber, The New Republic, "Blessed Are the Rich," 17 Apr. 2020 Other songs featured hard-rock guitar solos or free-jazz horn bleats, neatly integrated into the arrangements and the overall presentation, which included a mix of live and prerecorded video. Mark Jenkins, Washington Post, "Marc Anthony elicits screams, swoons and singalongs at Washington concert," 23 Feb. 2020 Kirby then issues five or six doe bleats, followed by six to eight tending grunts. Jarrod Spilger, Field & Stream, "How to Call Whitetails During Each Phase of the Season," 6 Dec. 2019 Aside from some rhetorical bleats, Republicans are acquiescing as Trump makes foreign policy by and for his viscera. George Will, Twin Cities, "George Will: The spiraling president adds self-impeachment to his repertoire," 13 Oct. 2019 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

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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Time Traveler for bleat

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for bleat

Cite this Entry

“Bleat.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 26 Sep. 2020.

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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

More from Merriam-Webster on bleat

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for bleat

Nglish: Translation of bleat for Spanish Speakers

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