Entry from British & World English dictionary
noun[in singular] British informal , dated
mid 19th century: from the verb bait 'torment', expressing the notion 'state of a baited person'.
verb[no object] Falconry
- This should obviate the possibility of the hawk getting hung up should the leash be over the top of the block when the hawk bates.
- The leash ring is on the side of the main ring, producing a strong lateral pull when the hawk bates.
- The ring, seen on the left hand end of the perch in the picture, should run freely from one end of the bow to the other, whichever way the hawk bates and it is almost potentially tangle proof.
late Middle English: from Old French batre 'to beat' (see also batter1).