- 1(Of a sheep, goat, or calf) make a characteristic wavering cry: the lamb was bleating weakly • figurative handing the mike to some woman who starts bleating out rap rhymes (as noun bleating) the silence was broken by the plaintive bleating of sheepMore example sentences
- The valley is quiet and serene, and right now is bursting with the energy and exuberance of spring - the trees are budding, the daffodils bobbing, the birds are busy, the lambs are bleating and there are calves suckling.
- The goat bleats piteously - it knows this is not a good day.
- Flies buzzed, cockerels crowed, goats bleated and a chorus of dogs was howling furiously.
- 1.1 [reporting verb] Speak or complain in a weak, querulous, or foolish way: he bleated incoherently about the reportMore example sentences
- How many times have we heard the supermarkets bleating on about ‘it is customer demand’ when challenged about their imports of meat, poultry, milk and other produce that they could have bought local?
- It's time you stopped listening to those insipid ‘advisors’, whoever they may be, as well as what the press are bleating on about, and reverted to your true fighting style.
- She thinks I spend all these hours on the computer looking at pornography or some other harmless pursuit; if she knew I was bleating on about life, the universe and everything she would get worried.
noun[in singular] Back to top
- 1The wavering cry made by a sheep, goat, or calf: the distant bleat of sheep in the fieldMore example sentences
- The lands beyond are filled with a chorus of bleats and croaks and barks.
- From one side came the cry of curlews, from the other the bleat of sheep.
- There was that permeating smell of animals and damp straw, the bleat of a llama came from a neighbouring stall.
- 1.1A person’s plaintive cry: his despairing bleat touched her heartMore example sentences
- First Joey, his voice a mutant-goat bleat, succumbed to lymphoma in 2001.
- His voice is a harsh, nasal, confused, emphatic bleat, clamping down on certain words and rolling tricky internal rhymes around in his mouth until they come out all broken.
- Still, when the bus stopped for any length of time, the bleats of goaty anguish would start up again, and my companion and I would glance at each other.
- 1.2 • informal A complaint: they’re hoping that I’ll bow to their idiotic arrangements without a bleatMore example sentences
- Here is a bleat from a disgruntled Indian, pointing out the obvious from one side of the culture war.
- Their MPs voted for the anti-democratic state of emergency without a bleat of protest.
- Incidentally, I don't know why whingeing has to start with a bleat.
Old English blǣtan, of imitative origin.