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


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

Middle English baten, short for abaten; see abate.
Middle English baten, from Old French batre, to beat; see batter1.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

Aphetic from abate.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Swedish beta ("maceration, tanning")

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

Formed by analogy with eatate, with which it shares an analogous past participle (eatenbeaten).



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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