follow Dictionary.com

What is the X in X-mas?

bay1

[bey] /beɪ/
noun
1.
a body of water forming an indentation of the shoreline, larger than a cove but smaller than a gulf.
2.
South Atlantic States. an arm of a swamp.
3.
a recess of land, partly surrounded by hills.
4.
an arm of a prairie or swamp, extending into woods and partly surrounded by them.
Origin
1350-1400
1350-1400; Middle English baye < Middle French baie < Medieval Latin, Late Latin bāia, perhaps by back formation from Latin Bāiae name of a spa on the Bay of Naples
Can be confused
bay, cove, gulf, inlet.
Synonyms
1. inlet, estuary, sound, firth, bight.

bay2

[bey] /beɪ/
noun
1.
Architecture.
  1. any of a number of similar major vertical divisions of a large interior, wall, etc.:
    The nave is divided into six bays.
  2. a division of a window between a mullion and an adjoining mullion or jamb.
  3. bay window (def 1).
2.
Aeronautics.
  1. any portion of an airplane set off by two successive bulkheads or other bracing members.
  2. a compartment in an aircraft:
    a bomb bay; an engine bay.
3.
a compartment, as in a barn for storing hay.
4.
Also called drive bay. an open compartment in the console housing a computer's CPU in which a disk drive, tape drive, etc., may be installed.
5.
Nautical.
  1. the deck space between the anchor windlass and the stem of a vessel.
  2. sick bay.
Origin
1275-1325; Middle English < Middle French baee an opening in a wall, noun use of feminine past participle of baer to stand open, gape < Vulgar Latin *batāre
Synonyms
3. alcove, nook, recess, niche; loft, garret.

bay3

[bey] /beɪ/
noun
1.
a deep, prolonged howl, as of a hound on the scent.
2.
the position or stand of an animal or fugitive that is forced to turn and resist pursuers because it is no longer possible to flee (usually preceded by at or to):
a stag at bay; to bring an escaped convict to bay.
3.
the situation of a person or thing that is forced actively to oppose or to succumb to some adverse condition (usually preceded by at or to).
4.
the situation of being actively opposed by an animal, person, etc., so as to be powerless to act fully (often preceded by at).
verb (used without object)
5.
to howl, especially with a deep, prolonged sound, as a hound on the scent.
verb (used with object)
6.
to assail with deep, prolonged howling:
a troubled hound baying the moon.
7.
to bring to or to hold at bay:
A dog bays its quarry.
Origin
1250-1300; Middle English, aphetic variant of abay < Anglo-French, dialectal Old French abai barking, noun derivative of abaier to bark, from an imitative base *bay-
Synonyms
5. roar, bellow, bark, bell, clamor.

bay4

[bey] /beɪ/
noun
1.
laurel (def 1).
2.
Also called bayberry, bay rum tree. a tropical American shrub, Pimenta racemosa, having aromatic leaves that are used in making bay oil and bay rum.
3.
any of various laurellike trees or shrubs.
4.
any of several magnolias.
5.
an honorary garland or crown bestowed for military victory, literary excellence, etc.
6.
bays, fame; renown.
Origin
1350-1400; Middle English bai(e), Old English beg- (in begbēam literally, berry tree), conflated with Middle French baie < Latin bāca, bacca berry

bay5

[bey] /beɪ/
noun
1.
reddish brown.
2.
a horse or other animal of reddish-brown color.
adjective
3.
(of horses or other animals) having a reddish-brown body.
Origin
1300-50; Middle English < Middle French bai < Latin badius; compare Old Irish buide yellow
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
Cite This Source
Examples from the web for bay
  • Sweet bay shrimp meld perfectly with grilled corn and creamy risotto.
  • Oil is expected to keep washing into the bay for months.
  • It's newish, stylish, and has a lovely deck right on the bay.
  • The best way to be an effective sniper is to hold the enemy at bay.
  • Making room for storage keeps clutter at bay.
  • Perhaps we initiate and perpetuate interdepartmental fights in order to keep boredom at bay.
  • The crabs themselves have migrated from the oceans to the bay to spawn.
  • Add the bay leaf, thyme, tomatoes and tomato paste and stir to blend.
  • The more we keep aloneness at bay, the less are we able to deal with it and the more terrifying it gets.
  • The injured person should have to be carried back to a sic bay and operated on before he or she can return to the battle.
British Dictionary definitions for bay

bay1

/beɪ/
noun
1.
a wide semicircular indentation of a shoreline, esp between two headlands or peninsulas
2.
an extension of lowland into hills that partly surround it
3.
(US) an extension of prairie into woodland
Word Origin
C14: from Old French baie, perhaps from Old French baer to gape, from Medieval Latin batāre to yawn

bay2

/beɪ/
noun
1.
an alcove or recess in a wall
2.
any partly enclosed compartment, as one in which hay is stored in a barn
3.
4.
an area off a road in which vehicles may park or unload, esp one adjacent to a shop, factory, etc
5.
a compartment in an aircraft, esp one used for a specified purpose: the bomb bay
6.
(nautical) a compartment in the forward part of a ship between decks, often used as the ship's hospital
7.
(Brit) a tracked recess in the platform of a railway station, esp one forming the terminus of a branch line
Word Origin
C14: from Old French baee gap or recess in a wall, from baer to gape; see bay1

bay3

/beɪ/
noun
1.
a deep howl or growl, esp of a hound on the scent
2.
at bay
  1. (of a person or animal) forced to turn and face attackers: the dogs held the deer at bay
  2. at a distance: to keep a disease at bay
3.
bring to bay, to force into a position from which retreat is impossible
verb
4.
(intransitive) to howl (at) in deep prolonged tones
5.
(transitive) to utter in a loud prolonged tone
6.
(transitive) to drive to or hold at bay
Word Origin
C13: from Old French abaiier to bark, of imitative origin

bay4

/beɪ/
noun
1.
Also called bay laurel, sweet bay. a small evergreen Mediterranean laurel, Laurus nobilis, with glossy aromatic leaves, used for flavouring in cooking, and small blackish berries See laurel (sense 1)
2.
any of various other trees with strongly aromatic leaves used in cooking, esp a member of the genera Myrica or Pimenta
3.
any of several magnolias See sweet bay
4.
any of certain other trees or shrubs, esp bayberry
5.
(pl) a wreath of bay leaves See laurel (sense 6)
Word Origin
C14: from Old French baie laurel berry, from Latin bāca berry

bay5

/beɪ/
noun
1.
  1. a moderate reddish-brown colour
  2. (as adjective): a bay horse
2.
an animal of this colour, esp a horse
Word Origin
C14: from Old French bai, from Latin badius

bayberry

/ˈbeɪbərɪ/
noun (pl) -ries
1.
any of several North American aromatic shrubs or small trees of the genus Myrica, that bear grey waxy berries: family Myricaceae See also wax myrtle
2.
Also called bay rum tree. a tropical American myrtaceous tree, Pimenta racemosa, that yields an oil used in making bay rum
3.
the fruit of any of these plants
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
Cite This Source
Word Origin and History for bay
n.

"inlet of the sea," c.1400, from Old French baie, Late Latin baia (c.640), perhaps ultimately from Iberian bahia.

"opening in a wall," late 14c. (especially bay window, early 15c.), from Old French baee "opening, hole, gulf," noun use of fem. past participle of bayer "to gape, yawn," from Medieval Latin batare "gape," perhaps of imitative origin. It is the bay in sick-bay.

"howl of a dog," early 14c., earlier "howling chorus raised (by hounds) when in contact with the hunted animal," c.1300, from Old French bayer, from PIE root *bai- echoic of howling (cf. Greek bauzein, Latin baubari "to bark," English bow-wow; cf. also bawl). From the hunting usage comes the transferred sense of "final encounter," and thence, on the notion of putting up an effective defense, at bay.

laurel shrub (Laurus nobilis, source of the bay leaf), late 14c., originally only of the berry, from Old French baie (12c.) "berry, seed," from Latin baca "berry." Extension to the shrub itself is from 1520s. The leaves or sprigs were woven as wreaths for conquerors or poets. Bayberry first recorded 1570s, after the original sense had shifted.

adj.

"reddish-brown," usually of horses, mid-14c., from Anglo-French bai (13c.), Old French bai, from Latin badius "chestnut-brown" (used only of horses), from PIE *badyo- "yellow, brown" (cf. Old Irish buide "yellow"). Also elliptical for a horse of this color.

v.

"to bark or howl (at)," late 14c., from bay (n.3). Related: Bayed; baying.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source
bay in Science
bay
  (bā)   
  1. A body of water partially enclosed by land but having a wide outlet to the sea. A bay is usually smaller than a gulf.

  2. A space in the cabinet of a personal computer where a storage device, such as a disk drive or CD-ROM drive, can be installed.


The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
Cite This Source
bay in Technology

hardware
(As in an aeroplane "cargo bay") A space in a cabinet into which a device of a certain size can be physically mounted and connected to power and data.
Common examples are a "drive bay" into which a disk drive (usually either 3.5 inch or 5.25 inch) can be inserted or the space in a docking station where you insert a notebook computer or laptop computer to work as a desktop computer or to charge their batteries, print or connect to the office network, etc.
(1999-01-11)

The Free On-line Dictionary of Computing, © Denis Howe 2010 http://foldoc.org
Cite This Source
bay in the Bible

denotes the estuary of the Dead Sea at the mouth of the Jordan (Josh. 15:5; 18:19), also the southern extremity of the same sea (15:2). The same Hebrew word is rendered "tongue" in Isa. 11:15, where it is used with reference to the forked mouths of the Nile. Bay in Zech. 6:3, 7 denotes the colour of horses, but the original Hebrew means strong, and is here used rather to describe the horses as fleet or spirited.

Easton's 1897 Bible Dictionary
Cite This Source
Idioms and Phrases with bay

bay

see: at bay
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Difficulty index for bay

All English speakers likely know this word

Word Value for bay

8
8
Scrabble Words With Friends

Quotes with bay

Nearby words for bay