bait 1 of 2

bait

2 of 2

verb

Synonym Chooser

How is the word bait distinct from other similar verbs?

Some common synonyms of bait are badger, chivy, heckle, hector, and hound. While all these words mean "to harass by efforts to break down," bait implies wanton cruelty or delight in persecuting a helpless victim.

baited the chained dog

When can badger be used instead of bait?

Although the words badger and bait have much in common, badger implies pestering so as to drive a person to confusion or frenzy.

badgered her father for a car

When would chivy be a good substitute for bait?

While the synonyms chivy and bait are close in meaning, chivy suggests persecution by teasing or nagging.

chivied the new student mercilessly

When is it sensible to use heckle instead of bait?

The words heckle and bait are synonyms, but do differ in nuance. Specifically, heckle implies persistent annoying or belligerent interruptions of a speaker.

drunks heckled the stand-up comic

When could hector be used to replace bait?

The words hector and bait can be used in similar contexts, but hector carries an implication of bullying and domineering.

football players hectored by their coach

Where would hound be a reasonable alternative to bait?

The meanings of hound and bait largely overlap; however, hound implies unrelenting pursuit and harassing.

hounded by creditors

Thesaurus Entries Near bait

Cite this Entry

“Bait.” Merriam-Webster.com Thesaurus, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/thesaurus/bait. Accessed 20 Apr. 2024.

More from Merriam-Webster on bait

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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