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

  • n. A body of water partially enclosed by land but with a wide mouth, affording access to the sea: the Bay of Biscay.
  • n. An area of land, such as an arm of prairie partially enclosed by woodland, that resembles in shape or formation a partially enclosed body of water.
  • n. Architecture A part of a building marked off by vertical elements, such as columns or pilasters: an arcade divided into ten bays.
  • n. Architecture A bay window.
  • n. Architecture An opening or recess in a wall.
  • n. A section or compartment, as in a service station, barn, or aircraft, that is set off for a specific purpose: a cargo bay; an engine bay.
  • n. A sickbay.
  • n. Computer Science A drive bay.
  • adj. Reddish-brown: a bay colt.
  • n. A reddish brown.
  • n. A reddish-brown animal, especially a horse having a black mane and tail.
  • n. A deep, prolonged bark, such as the sound made by hounds.
  • n. The position of one cornered by pursuers and forced to turn and fight at close quarters: The hunters brought their quarry to bay.
  • n. The position of having been checked or held at a distance: "He has seen the nuclear threat held at bay for 40 years” ( Earl W. Foell).
  • intransitive v. To utter a deep, prolonged bark.
  • transitive v. To pursue or challenge with barking: "I had rather be a dog, and bay the moon” ( Shakespeare).
  • transitive v. To express by barking or howling: a mob baying its fury.
  • transitive v. To bring to bay: "too big for the dogs which tried to bay it” ( William Faulkner).
  • n. See laurel.
  • n. Any of certain other trees or shrubs with aromatic foliage, such as the California laurel.
  • n. A crown or wreath made especially of the leaves and branches of the laurel and given as a sign of honor or victory.
  • n. Honor; renown. Often used in the plural.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • adj. Of a reddish-brown colour (especially of horses).
  • n. A brown colour/color of the coat of some horses.
  • n. A horse of this color.
  • n. A berry.
  • n. Laurus nobilis, a shrub of the family Lauraceae, having dark green leaves and berries.
  • n. The leaves of this shrub, woven into a garland used to reward a champion or victor; hence, fame, victory.
  • n. The leaf of this or certain other species of shrub, used as a herb.
  • n. A body of water (especially the sea) more or less three-quarters surrounded by land.
  • n. An opening in a wall, especially between two columns.
  • n. An internal recess; a compartment or area surrounded on three sides.
  • n. The distance between two supports in a vault or building with a pitched roof.
  • n. Each of the spaces, port and starboard, between decks, forward of the bitts, in sailing warships.
  • n. A bay platform.
  • n. shortened form of bay window.
  • n. The excited barking of dogs when hunting or being attacked.
  • n. The climactic confrontation between hunting-dogs and their prey.
  • v. To bark.
  • v. To bark at.
  • v. To pursue noisily, like a pack of hounds.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • adj. Reddish brown; of the color of a chestnut; -- applied to the color of horses.
  • n. An inlet of the sea, usually smaller than a gulf, but of the same general character.
  • n. A small body of water set off from the main body; as a compartment containing water for a wheel; the portion of a canal just outside of the gates of a lock, etc.
  • n. A recess or indentation shaped like a bay.
  • n. A principal compartment of the walls, roof, or other part of a building, or of the whole building, as marked off by the buttresses, vaulting, mullions of a window, etc.; one of the main divisions of any structure, as the part of a bridge between two piers.
  • n. A compartment in a barn, for depositing hay, or grain in the stalks.
  • n. A kind of mahogany obtained from Campeachy Bay.
  • n. A berry, particularly of the laurel.
  • n. The laurel tree (Laurus nobilis). Hence, in the plural, an honorary garland or crown bestowed as a prize for victory or excellence, anciently made or consisting of branches of the laurel.
  • n. A tract covered with bay trees.
  • n. Deep-toned, prolonged barking.
  • n. A state of being obliged to face an antagonist or a difficulty, when escape has become impossible.
  • n. A bank or dam to keep back water.
  • intransitive v. To bark, as a dog with a deep voice does, at his game.
  • transitive v. To bark at; hence, to follow with barking; to bring or drive to bay.
  • transitive v. To bathe.
  • transitive v. To dam, as water; -- with up or back.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • To open the mouth, as for food; seek with open mouth.
  • To bark, as a dog; especially, to bark with a deep prolonged sound, as hounds in the chase.
  • To bark at; beset with deep prolonged barking.
  • To express by barking.
  • To drive or pursue so as to compel to stand at bay; chase or hunt.
  • To hold at bay.
  • Reddish or brownish-red, inclining to chestnut; rufous; badious; castaneous: applied most frequently to horses, but also to other animals displaying the same color.
  • n. A light woolen fabric (originally of a bay color), the manufacture of which was introduced into England in 1561 by refugees from France and the Netherlands: usually in plural bays, now, as singular, baize (which see).
  • n. A bay horse.
  • To dam: as, to bay back the water.
  • To bend.
  • A poetical perversion of bathe.
  • n. A berry, especially of the laurel-tree.
  • n. The laurel-tree, noble laurel, or sweet-bay, Laurus nobilis. See laurel.
  • n. Hence (like laurel, and in reference to the ancient use of the laurel)
  • n. An honorary garland or crown bestowed as a prize for victory or excellence; also, fame or renown due to achievement or merit: in this sense used chiefly in the plural, with reference to the leaves or branches of laurel. Also called bay-leaf.
  • n. [In the following quotation, the office of poet laureate: formerly a not uncommon use.
  • n. Bays was sometimes used as a singular (compare bays, baize, as singular).
  • n. [Cf. bay.] A piece of low, marshy ground producing large numbers of bay-trees.
  • n. A recess in the shore of a sea or lake, differing from a creek in being less long and narrow; the expanse of water between two capes or headlands.
  • n. An anchorage or roadstead for ships; a port; a harbor.
  • n. A recess of land, as in a range of hills; a level space partly surrounded by heights.
  • n. An arm of a prairie extending into woods and partly surrounded by them. [U. S.] Bartlett.
  • n. A kind of mahogany obtained from Campeachy Bay (whence the name).
  • n. A principal compartment or division in the architectural arrangement of a building, marked by buttresses or pilasters on the walls, by the disposition of the main ribs (arcs doubleaux) of the interior vaulting, by the placing of the main arches and pillars or of the principals of the roof, or by any other leading features that separate the design into corresponding parts.
  • n. The part of a window included between two mullions; a light. Also called window-bay.
  • n. A bay-window.
  • n. A compartment in a barn for the storage of hay or grain.
  • n. In carpentry, a portion of a compound or framed floor included between two girders, or between a girder and the wall.
  • n. In plastering, the space between two screeds. See screed.
  • n. Nautical, that part of a ship between decks which lies forward of the bitts, on either side; in a ship of war, the foremost messing-place between decks. See sick-bay.
  • n. In bridge-building, the portion between two piers.
  • n. In coal-mining: An open space for the gob or waste in a long-wall working.
  • n. The space between two frames or sets in a level: synonymous with board.
  • n. The deep-toned barking of a dog in pursuit of game; especially, the barking of a pack of hounds.
  • n. The state of being so hard pressed, as a hunted animal by dogs and hunters, as to be compelled, from impossibility of escape, to turn and face the danger: with at or to: as, to be at bay, stand at bay, hold at bay (formerly also at a bay), bring to bay, etc.: often used figuratively, in these and other constructions, with reference to persons beset by enemies or held at a disadvantage: strait; distress.
  • n. The state of being kept off by the bold attitude of an opponent; the state of being prevented by an enemy, or by any kind of resistance, from making further advance: with at.
  • n. A dam; a pond-head; an embankment.
  • n. The bay-antler or bez-antler of a stag.
  • n. In hydraulic engineering, an opening through a dam or bulkhead for the passage of water, generally capable of regulation by gates or sluices: as, a head-bay, an opening in a dam at the head of a flume or canal.

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

  • n. a small recess opening off a larger room
  • n. an indentation of a shoreline larger than a cove but smaller than a gulf
  • n. the sound of a hound on the scent
  • v. utter in deep prolonged tones
  • adj. (used of animals especially a horse) of a moderate reddish-brown color
  • n. a compartment in an aircraft used for some specific purpose
  • v. bark with prolonged noises, of dogs
  • n. a compartment on a ship between decks; often used as a hospital
  • n. small Mediterranean evergreen tree with small blackish berries and glossy aromatic leaves used for flavoring in cooking; also used by ancient Greeks to crown victors
  • n. a horse of a moderate reddish-brown color


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

Middle English, from Old French baie, perhaps from baer, to open out, gape; see bay2.
Middle English, from Old French baee, an opening, from baer, to gape, from Vulgar Latin *badāre.
Middle English, from Old French bai, from Latin badius.
Middle English, from abai, cornering a hunted animal, from Old French, from abaiier, to bark, perhaps from Vulgar Latin *abbaiāre : Latin ad-, ad- + Vulgar Latin *badāre, to gape, yawn. V., from Middle English baien, to bark, from abaien, from Old French abaiier.
Middle English, from Old French baie, berry, from Latin bāca.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Middle English baye, baie, from Old English beġ ("berry"), as in beġbēam ("berry-tree"), conflated with Old French baie, from Latin bāca ("berry").

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From French baie, from Late Latin baia.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From French baie, from Old French baé, masculine singular past participle of the verb baer, from Vulgar Latin *badō (“I am open”).

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Old French bay, combined with apheticised form of abay; verbal form Old French bayer, abayer.



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