Definition of bleat in English:

bleat

Line breaks: bleat
Pronunciation: /bliːt
 
/

verb

[no object]
1(Of a sheep, goat, or calf) make a characteristic weak, wavering cry: the lamb was bleating weakly (as noun bleating) the plaintive bleating of sheep
More 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.
Synonyms
baa, maa, cry, call
North American informal blat
1.1 [reporting verb] Speak or complain in a weak, querulous, or foolish way: it’s no good just bleating on about the rising tide of crime
More 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.
Synonyms
Scottish & Irish gurn
informal gripe, beef, bellyache, bitch, whinge, sound off, go on
British informal chunter, create, be on at someone
Northern English informal mither
North American informal kvetch
South African informal chirp
British dated crib, natter

noun

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1The weak, wavering cry made by a sheep, goat, or calf: the distant bleat of sheep
More 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 weak or plaintive cry: his despairing bleat touched her heart
More 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 bleat
More 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.

Origin

Old English blǣtan, of imitative origin.

Derivatives

bleater

noun
More example sentences
  • If we did invade, these bleaters would start moaning about imperialism.
  • It wasn't just the doo-woppers (Platters, Marcels) and Italian-American bleaters (Freddy Cannon, Connie Francis) who padded or enriched their repertoire with pop oldies.
  • The Cabinet opponents seem to amount to little more than a clutch of powerless bleaters.

Definition of bleat in:

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