(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”).