Synonyms & Antonyms of bait

(Entry 1 of 2)

1 something used to attract animals to a hook or into a trap
  • cheese is the traditional bait for trapping mice

Synonyms for bait

Words Related to bait

Near Antonyms for bait

2 something that persuades one to perform an action for pleasure or gain
  • the promise of free vacation is surefire bait to get people to agree to be chaperones for school trips

Synonyms for bait

Words Related to bait

Near Antonyms for bait



Synonyms & Antonyms of bait (Entry 2 of 2)

1 to attack repeatedly with mean put-downs or insults
  • I wished the candidates would stop baiting each other and instead address the real issues

Synonyms for bait

Words Related to bait

Phrases Synonymous with bait

2 to lead away from a usual or proper course by offering some pleasure or advantage
  • the investment scheme cunningly baits the greedy and the unscrupulous

Synonyms for bait

Words Related to bait

Near Antonyms for bait

See the Dictionary Definition 

Choose the Right Synonym for 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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about bait

Time Traveler for bait

Time Traveler

The first known use of bait was in the 13th century

See more words from the same century

Cite this Entry

“Bait.” The Thesaurus, Merriam-Webster Inc., Accessed 24 January 2020.

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on bait

Dictionary: Definition of bait

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with bait

Spanish Central: Translation of bait

Nglish: Translation of bait for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of bait for Arabic Speakers Encyclopedia article about bait

Comments on bait

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


a feeling of well-being or elation

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Intact Latin Quiz

  • roman tablet
  • What did focus mean in Latin?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Syn City

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

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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