A baby lamb bleats.
- The definition of a bleat is the sound made by a sheep or goat.
An example of a bleat is the sound a sheep makes when it is nervous.
- To bleat is to make the sound of a sheep or goat, or to whine or complain.
- An example of to bleat is for a sheep to make a typical sheep sound.
- An example of to bleat is to whine about a boss who gives difficult assignments.
- to make its characteristic cry: said of a sheep, goat, or calf
- to make a sound like this cry
- to speak foolishly, whiningly, or querulously
Origin of bleatMiddle English bleten from Old English blætan: see blear
- the cry of a sheep, goat, or calf
- any sound or utterance like this
- a. The characteristic cry of a goat or sheep.b. A sound similar to this cry.
- A whining, feeble complaint.
verbbleat·ed, bleat·ing, bleats
- To utter the characteristic cry of a goat or sheep.
- To utter a sound similar to this cry, especially a whine.
Origin of bleatMiddle English blet from bleten to bleat from Old English blǣtan
(third-person singular simple present bleats, present participle bleating, simple past and past participle bleated)
- Of a sheep or goat, to make its characteristic cry.
- (informal) Of a person, to complain.
- The last thing we need is to hear them bleating to us about organizational problems.
From Middle English bleten, from Old English blǣtan (“to bleat”), from Proto-Germanic *blētijaną (“to bleat”), from Proto-Indo-European *bʰlē- (“to howl, cry, bleat”). Cognate with Scots blete, bleit (“to bleat”), Saterland Frisian blēte, blētsje (“to bleat”), Dutch blaten, bleten (“to bleat”), Low German bleten (“to bleat”), German blaßen, blässen (“to bleat”); cf. Greek blekhe, Old Church Slavonic blejat, and also Latin fleō (“cry, weep”).