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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.]
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
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
Based on WordNet 3.0, Farlex clipart collection. © 2003-2012 Princeton University, Farlex Inc.
References in classic literature ?
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.
In Tarzan it was a trifle broad, perhaps, manifesting itself in rough and painful practical jokes upon his friends and cruel baiting of his enemies.
With the hyenas subdued, Bukawai returned to the baiting of Tarzan; but finding that the ape-man understood nothing he said, the witch-doctor finally desisted.
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.
Hunters often use livestock parts and other food to lure black bears in states where baiting is allowed.
Captain George LaBonte, of Hobe Sound, has built a career around live baiting sailfish.
Before the baiting was initiated, the park was thoroughly surveyed for places where wild boar activity was evident i.e., wallows, rooting of grass tubers, tusk or mud marks on tree trunks, numerous foot prints, trails etc.
Reduction of wasp (Hymenoptera: Vespidae) populations by poison baiting; experimental use of sodium monofluoroacetate (1080) in canned sardine.
First, Alaska lifted restrictions on baiting brown bears in parts of the state.
Hanging baits where Ian had suggested we kept baiting until we had a total of nine baits out, spread over the length of the conservancy.