Definition of bated in English:

bated

Line breaks: bated
Pronunciation: /ˈbeɪtɪd
 
/

adjective

(in phrase with bated breath)
  • In great suspense; very anxiously or excitedly: he waited for a reply to his offer with bated breath
    More example sentences
    • Excited denizens have waited with bated breath as the clock ticked by - months, days, hours and finally the big moment itself.
    • Football fans are looking forward with bated breath to the clash of Kerry and near neighbours Limerick in the national league semi final later in the month of April.
    • As the 1000-odd crowd assembled at the spot watched with bated breath, the personnel started pulling the rope up with utmost care.

Origin

late 16th century: from the past participle of obsolete bate 'restrain', from abate.

Usage

The spelling baited breath instead of bated breath is a common mistake. Almost a third of citations for this idiom in the Oxford English Corpus are for the incorrect spelling.

More definitions of bated

Definition of bated in:

Get more from Oxford Dictionaries

Subscribe to remove adverts and access premium resources

Word of the day coloratura
Pronunciation: ˌkɒlərəˈtjʊərə
noun
elaborate ornamentation of a vocal melody