An example of bait is setting out delicious smelling cinnamon rolls for sampling in an attempt to get people to buy more cinnamon rolls.
We wolfed down a bait of huckleberries.
An example of bait is when an investigator is interviewing a suspect, and he says insulting and demeaning things to get the person upset in order to judge his reactions.
An example of bait is to whip a dog mercilessly, causing him to attack and bite another dog in a fight.
He baited me into selling him my bike by saying how much I deserved a better one.
He did not take the bait by responding to the taunt and getting drawn into an argument.
An example of bait is the worm used on the end of a pole to attract fish.
An example of bait is the poisonous trap used for killing ants in the house.
An example of bait is a sheep left out in a field in order to lure the wolf.
Origin of bait
- Middle English from Old Norse beita food, fodder, fish bait V., from Old Norse beita to put animals to pasture, hunt with dogs bheid- in Indo-European roots
From American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition
- From Middle English baiten, beiten, from Old Norse beita (“to bait, cause to bite, feed, hunt”), from Proto-Germanic *baitijaną (“to cause to bite, bridle”), from Proto-Indo-European *bʰeyd- (“to cleave, split, separate”). Cognate with Icelandic beita (“to bait”), Swedish beta (“to bait, pasture, graze”), German beizen (“to cause to bite, bait”), Old English bǣtan (“to bait, hunt, bridle, bit”).
- From Middle English bait, beite, from Old Norse beita (“food, bait”), from Proto-Germanic *baitō (“that which is bitten, bait”), from Proto-Indo-European *bʰeyd- (“to cleave, split, separate”). Cognate with German Beize (“mordant, corrosive fluid; marinade; hunting”), Old English bāt (“that which can be bitten, food, bait”). Related to bite.
- French battre de l'aile or des ailes, to flap or flutter.