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The practice of setting dogs on a chained bear.
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.


(ˈbɛərˌbeɪ tɪŋ)

the former practice of setting dogs to fight a captive bear.
bear′bait`er, n.
Random House Kernerman Webster's College Dictionary, © 2010 K Dictionaries Ltd. Copyright 2005, 1997, 1991 by Random House, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
There is even a bear or the impression of a live bear, in memory of the bearbaiting traditions of Elizabethan times.
"More needs to be done and axing 'bearbaiting' show is a good start
It has the Hellcat's 6.2-liter supercharged V-8, ultra-performance everything, all-wheel drive and 8 inches of ground clearance, all without the bearbaiting obviousness of what you're up to.
(135) It prohibited people from attending meetings or assemblies of people for any sport or pastime outside their parish and prohibited 'Bearbaiting, Bull-baiting, Interludes, [and] Common Plays' within their own parishes.
Foxhunting belongs in the past along with bearbaiting, cockfighting and dog fighting.
While Foreman made peace with Ali and forgave the theatrical bearbaiting, Frazier went to his grave resenting the role of stooge in the Louisville Lip's pre-fight pantomime.
Huw Griffiths also reflects upon Hawkes's writing as a beacon and provocation for those who have followed, in a piece that echoes the meaningful errancy of Terry's compositional style in "Hank Cinq." Punning to overthrow the orderly social control of proper names, playing in the mire and throb of preliterate society's margins (from bearbaiting to theatricality to Welshness), Hawkes dismantled forms of "literary" institutionalization that may no longer matter so much to the twenty-first-century's multinational robber barons, as both McLuskie and Griffiths observe; each sees work yet to be done, changes of focus needed in order to extend the Hawkesian spirit and legacy of meaningful contestation.
Teasing an innocent fish with food attached to a lethal hook that goes straight through its mouth so it can be dragged from the water to die slowly gasping for breath is right up there with bullfighting and bearbaiting in my book.
However it was that the actors achieved the effect of Barabas falling into the cauldron, such illusion-making was in keeping with a longstanding tradition of stage trickery that preceded and continued alongside the professional playing that flourished in late sixteenth-century London; indeed, and it is worth reminding ourselves that playing was part of a wider entertainment environment that included bearbaiting and fencing: while we discriminate on cultural grounds between these forms of "play" that existed cheek by jowl on the Bankside, Shoreditch, and elsewhere, spectators enjoyed and experienced these ludic diversions "in the round", as it were.
Speght also refers to Swetnam as the "Bayter of Women" several times, apparently to stigmatize Swetnam's work as unprofitable or, as Speght characterizes his readership, "vulgar." Like bearbaiting, that takes people away from gainful pursuits, Swetnam is described in the acrostic as a "Seducer of the vulgar sort of men" while Speght also damningly acknowledges that "for the Vulgar sort, which have no more learning then you have shewed in your Booke, it is likely they will applaud you for your paines" (6, 8).
He visited the Potteries Museum at Stoke-on-Trent, revelling in display cases full of bearbaiting, bare fisted pugilists, satirical social commentary, murder scenarios and murderers, well-known personalities and commemorative pieces.
Public hangings, bearbaiting, and even cat burning were popular forms of entertainment.