Also found in: Thesaurus, Medical, Encyclopedia.
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 2also 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.