Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun Food or other lure placed on a hook or in a trap and used in the taking of fish, birds, or other animals.
  • noun Something, such as a worm, used for this purpose.
  • noun An enticement, temptation, or provocation.
  • intransitive verb To place a lure in (a trap) or on (a fishing hook).
  • intransitive verb To entice or provoke, especially by trickery or strategy.
  • intransitive verb To set dogs upon (a chained animal, for example) for sport.
  • intransitive verb To taunt or torment (someone), as with persistent insults or ridicule.
  • intransitive verb To feed (an animal), especially on a journey.
  • intransitive verb To stop for food or rest during a trip.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun Any substance, as an attractive morsel of food, placed on a hook or in a trap to allure fish or other animals to swallow the hook or to enter the trap, and thereby be caught; specifically, worms, small fishes, etc., used in fishing.
  • noun An allurement; enticement; temptation.
  • noun A portion of food and drink; a slight or informal repast. Refreshment taken on a journey, by man or beast.
  • noun A luncheon; food eaten by a laborer during his shift.
  • noun A halt for refreshment or rest in the course of a journey.
  • noun A refreshment or refresher.
  • noun A hasty meal; a snack.
  • noun Short for whitebait.
  • . To cause to bite; set on (a dog) to bite or worry (another animal).
  • To provoke and harass by setting on dogs; set a dog or dogs to worry or fight with for sport, as an animal that is hampered or confined: as, to bait a bull or a bear.
  • To set upon, as a dog upon a captive animal; hence, to harass in any way; annoy; nag; badger; worry.
  • To feed; give a portion of food and drink to, especially upon a journey: as, to bait horses.
  • To put a bait on or in: as, to bait a hook, line, snare, or trap.
  • . To allure by a bait; catch; captivate: as, “to bait fish,”
  • . To act in a worrying or harassing manner.
  • To take food; feed.
  • To stop at an inn, while on a journey, to feed the horses, or for rest and refreshment.
  • noun etc. An obsolete form of bate, etc.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • intransitive verb To flap the wings; to flutter as if to fly; or to hover, as a hawk when she stoops to her prey.
  • intransitive verb To stop to take a portion of food and drink for refreshment of one's self or one's beasts, on a journey.
  • transitive verb To provoke and harass; esp., to harass or torment for sport.
  • transitive verb To give a portion of food and drink to, upon the road.
  • transitive verb To furnish or cover with bait, as a trap or hook.
  • noun Any substance, esp. food, used in catching fish, or other animals, by alluring them to a hook, snare, inclosure, or net.
  • noun Anything which allures; a lure; enticement; temptation.
  • noun A portion of food or drink, as a refreshment taken on a journey; also, a stop for rest and refreshment.
  • noun A light or hasty luncheon.
  • noun (Zoöl.) a crustacean of the genus Hippa found burrowing in sandy beaches. See Anomura.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • verb obsolete, intransitive To flap the wings; to flutter as if to fly; or to hover, as a hawk when she stoops to her prey.
  • verb transitive To set dogs on (an animal etc.) to bite or worry; to attack with dogs, especially for sport.
  • verb transitive To intentionally annoy, torment, or threaten by constant rebukes or threats; to harass.
  • verb transitive To feed and water (a horse or other animal), especially during a journey.
  • verb intransitive Of a horse or other animal: to take food, especially during a journey.
  • verb transitive To attract with bait; to entice.
  • verb transitive To affix bait to a fishing hook or fishing line.
  • noun Any substance, especially food, used in catching fish, or other animals, by alluring them to a hook, snare, trap, or net.
  • noun Food containing poison or a harmful additive to kill animals that are pests.
  • noun Anything which allures; a lure; enticement; temptation.
  • noun A portion of food or drink, as a refreshment taken on a journey; also, a stop for rest and refreshment.

Etymologies

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

[Middle English, from Old Norse beita, food, fodder, fish bait. V., from Old Norse beita, to put animals to pasture, hunt with dogs; see bheid- in Indo-European roots.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

French battre de l'aile or des ailes, to flap or flutter.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Middle English baiten, beiten, from Old Norse beita ("to bait, cause to bite, feed, hunt"), from Proto-Germanic *baitijanan (“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 Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

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.

Examples

Comments

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  • this is also London slang for 'obvious'

    urban dictionary's definition:

    " bait

    when something is made blatantly obvious "

    February 23, 2013