Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • transitive v. 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.
  • transitive v. To take away; subtract.
  • intransitive v. To flap the wings wildly or frantically. Used of a falcon.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. Strife; contention.
  • v. To contend or strive with blows or arguments.
  • v. Of a falcon: To flap the wings vigorously.
  • n. An alkaline lye which neutralizes the effect of the previous application of lime, and makes hides supple in the process of tanning.
  • n. A vat which contains this liquid.
  • v. To soak leather so as to remove chemicals used in tanning; to steep in bate.
  • v. To masturbate.
  • v. To reduce the force of something; to abate.
  • v. To restrain, usually with the sense of being in anticipation; as, with bated breath.
  • v. To cut off, remove, take away.
  • v. To leave out, except, bar.
  • v. Simple past of beat; = beat.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • imp. of bite.
  • n. Strife; contention.
  • n. See 2d bath.
  • n. An alkaline solution consisting of the dung of certain animals; -- employed in the preparation of hides; grainer.
  • intransitive v. To remit or retrench a part; -- with of.
  • intransitive v. To waste away.
  • intransitive v. To flutter as a hawk; to bait.
  • transitive v. To lessen by retrenching, deducting, or reducing; to abate; to beat down; to lower.
  • transitive v. To allow by way of abatement or deduction.
  • transitive v. To leave out; to except.
  • transitive v. To remove.
  • transitive v. To deprive of.
  • transitive v. To attack; to bait.
  • transitive v. To steep in bate, as hides, in the manufacture of leather.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • To beat: in the phrase to bate the wings, to flutter, fly.
  • In falconry, to beat the wings impatiently; flutter as preparing for flight, particularly at the sight of prey; flutter away.
  • To flutter; be eager or restless.
  • To flutter or fly down.
  • To beat down or away; remove by beating.
  • To beat back, or blunt.
  • To weaken; impair the strength of.
  • To lessen or decrease in amount, weight, estimation, etc.; lower; reduce.
  • To strike off; deduct; abate.
  • To lessen in force or intensity; moderate; diminish: as, to bate one's breath, or with bated breath (see phrases, below); to bate one's or a person's curiosity.
  • To rob or deprive of.
  • To leave out; except; bar.
  • To decrease or fall away in size, amount, force, estimate, etc.
  • To contend; strive; quarrel.
  • To steep, as a hide, in an alkaline lye. See bate, n.
  • In jute-manuf., to separate (the raw material) into layers, and then soften by sprinkling with oil and water.
  • n. Contention; strife; debate.
  • n. Obsolete and less correct spelling of bait.
  • n. The alkaline solution in which hides are steeped after being limed, in order to remove or neutralize the lime.
  • n. Obsolete or dialectal preterit of bite.
  • n. The grain of wood or stone.
  • n. Same as bath.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • v. soak in a special solution to soften and remove chemicals used in previous treatments
  • v. moderate or restrain; lessen the force of
  • v. flap the wings wildly or frantically; used of falcons

Etymologies

Middle English baten, short for abaten; see abate.
Middle English baten, from Old French batre, to beat; see batter1.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
Aphetic from abate. (Wiktionary)
From Swedish beta ("maceration, tanning") (Wiktionary)
Formed by analogy with eatate, with which it shares an analogous past participle (eatenbeaten). (Wiktionary)

Examples

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  • "SICINIUS: Sir, the people
    Must have their voices; neither will they bate
    One jot of ceremony."
    - William Shakespeare, 'The Tragedy of Coriolanus'.

    August 28, 2009

  • It drives me crazy when I see this: "She waited with baited breath ..." What, are worms involved?

    May 26, 2009