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Related to baiting: Bear baiting, Bull baiting

bait 1

a. Food or other lure placed on a hook or in a trap and used in the taking of fish, birds, or other animals.
b. Something, such as a worm, used for this purpose.
2. An enticement, temptation, or provocation: He did not take the bait by responding to the taunt and getting drawn into an argument.
v. bait·ed, bait·ing, baits
1. To place a lure in (a trap) or on (a fishing hook).
2. To entice or provoke, especially by trickery or strategy: He baited me into selling him my bike by saying how much I deserved a better one.
3. To set dogs upon (a chained animal, for example) for sport.
4. To taunt or torment (someone), as with persistent insults or ridicule: "He baited him mercilessly and had all sorts of unpleasant names for him" (Ruth Prawer Jhabvala).
5. To feed (an animal), especially on a journey.
v.intr. Archaic
To stop for food or rest during a trip.

[Middle English, from Old Norse beita, food, fodder, fish bait. V., from Old Norse beita, to put animals to pasture, hunt with dogs; see bheid- in Indo-European roots.]

bait′er n.
Usage Note: The word baited is sometimes incorrectly substituted for the etymologically correct but unfamiliar word bated ("abated; suspended") in the expression bated breath.

bait 2

Variant of bate2.

bate 1

tr.v. bat·ed, bat·ing, bates
1. To lessen the force or intensity of; moderate: "To his dying day he bated his breath a little when he told the story" (George Eliot). See Usage Note at bait1.
2. To take away; subtract.

[Middle English baten, short for abaten; see abate.]

bate 2

also bait  (bāt)
intr.v. bat·ed, bat·ing, bates also bait·ed or bait·ing or baits
To flap the wings wildly or frantically. Used of a falcon.

[Middle English baten, from Old French batre, to beat; see batter1.]
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.baiting - harassment especially of a tethered animalbaiting - harassment especially of a tethered animal
harassment, molestation - the act of tormenting by continued persistent attacks and criticism
References in classic literature ?
His peevish reproofs wakened in her a naughty delight to provoke him: she was never so happy as when we were all scolding her at once, and she defying us with her bold, saucy look, and her ready words; turning Joseph's religious curses into ridicule, baiting me, and doing just what her father hated most - showing how her pretended insolence, which he thought real, had more power over Heathcliff than his kindness: how the boy would do HER bidding in anything, and HIS only when it suited his own inclination.
Dan's line was out long before Harvey had mastered the mystery of baiting and heaving out the leads.
The tubs were full of neatly coiled line carrying a big hook each few feet; and the testing and baiting of every single hook, with the stowage of the baited line so that it should run clear when shot from the dory, was a scientific business.
He may be conceived as one who, baiting his hook with real knickerbockers, fishes all day in the Gardens, which are to him but a pool swarming with small fry.
Van Baerle, from whose thoughts the three bulbs were never absent, made a snare for catching the pigeons, baiting the birds with all the resources of his kitchen, such as it was for eight slivers (sixpence English) a day; and, after a month of unsuccessful attempts, he at last caught a female bird.
As these three brothers advanced towards him to carry out the Abbot's direction, the smile faded from the novice's face, and he glanced right and left with his fierce brown eyes, like a bull at a baiting.
Gilbert, you and Captain Jim must stop baiting Miss Cornelia.
A happy smile lighted his features as he worked, for one of his principal diversions was the baiting of the blacks of Mbonga's village.
Gamesters at play; cunning rogues baiting their traps with subtle skill; beauty in love with courage, and thus planning to be sought by it; danger, death, love, disappointment, ridicule--any of these might respond to that temerarious rap.
As he was baiting for a fourth pounder, and just going to throw in again, he became aware of a man coming up the bank not one hundred yards off.
Inspired by this idea and the sentiments it awakened, sir, and feeling as a mutual friend that badgering, baiting, and bullying, was not the sort of thing calculated to expand the souls and promote the social harmony of the contending parties, I took upon myself to suggest a course which is THE course to be adopted to the present occasion.
In 2013, Steve called me about an exciting new opportunity for baiting brown bears in two of the hunting units where he guides.