Definitions

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

  • noun The characteristic cry of a goat or sheep.
  • noun A sound similar to this cry.
  • noun A whining, feeble complaint.
  • intransitive verb To utter the characteristic cry of a goat or sheep.
  • intransitive verb To utter a sound similar to this cry, especially a whine.
  • intransitive verb To utter in a whining way.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • To cry as a sheep, goat, or calf; also, as a snipe.
  • noun The cry of a sheep, goat, or calf; also, of a snipe.

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

  • intransitive verb To make the noise of, or one like that of, a sheep; to cry like a sheep or calf.
  • noun A plaintive cry of, or like that of, a sheep.

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

  • noun The characteristic cry of a sheep or a goat.
  • verb Of a sheep or goat, to make its characteristic cry.
  • verb informal Of a person, to complain.

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

  • noun the sound of sheep or goats (or any sound resembling this)
  • verb cry plaintively
  • verb talk whiningly

Etymologies

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

[Middle English blet, from bleten, to bleat, from Old English blǣtan.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Middle English bleten, from Old English blǣtan ("to bleat"), from Proto-Germanic *blētijanan (“to bleat”), from Proto-Indo-European *bʰlē- (“to howl, cry, bleat”). Cognate with Scots blete, bleit ("to bleat"), Saterland Frisian blēte, blētsje ("to bleat"), Dutch blaten, bleten ("to bleat"), Low German bleten ("to bleat"), German blaßen, blässen ("to bleat"); cf. Greek blekhe, Old Church Slavonic blejat, and also Latin fleō ("cry, weep").

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