Definition of bait noun from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary



    BrE BrE//beɪt//
    ; NAmE NAmE//beɪt//
    [uncountable, countable]
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  1. 1food put on a hook to catch fish or in nets, traps, etc. to catch animals or birds Live worms are used as bait. The fish took the bait. Wordfinderbait, bite, dragnet, fishing, fly, hook, line, net, rod, trawl
  2. 2a person or thing that is used to catch somebody or to attract them, for example to make them do what you want He had chosen the right bait to persuade her to go. The police used him as bait to trap the killers.
  3. Word OriginMiddle English: from Old Norse beit ‘pasture, food’, beita ‘to hunt or chase’.Extra examples We hope that potential investors will take the bait. We’ll put out the bait and see what happens. She covered her face and began to sob, but he wouldn’t rise to the bait. The player was unable to resist the bait dangled in front of him by United.
See the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary entry: bait

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