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bate1

[beyt] /beɪt/
verb (used with object), bated, bating.
1.
to moderate or restrain:
unable to bate our enthusiasm.
2.
to lessen or diminish; abate:
setbacks that bated his hopes.
verb (used without object), bated, bating.
3.
to diminish or subside; abate.
Idioms
4.
with bated breath, with breath drawn in or held because of anticipation or suspense:
We watched with bated breath as the runners approached the finish line.
Origin of bate1
1250-1300
1250-1300; Middle English, aphetic variant of abate
Can be confused
baited, bated.

bate2

[beyt] /beɪt/
verb (used without object), bated, bating.
1.
(of a hawk) to flutter its wings and attempt to escape in a fit of anger or fear.
noun
2.
a state of violent anger or fear.
Origin
1250-1300; Middle English baten to beat, flap (wings, etc.) < Middle French (se) batreLatin battuere to beat; cf. abate

bate3

[beyt] /beɪt/
verb (used with object), verb (used without object), bated, bating.
1.
Tanning. to soak (leather) after liming in an alkaline solution to soften it and remove the lime.
noun
2.
the solution used.
Origin
1870-75; variant of beat to pare off turf, Old English bǣtan to bait; cognate with Swedish beta to tan, German beissen to macerate
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for bate
Historical Examples
  • bate Wood, however, touched his sombrero and said: "Mornin', miss."

    The Border Legion Zane Grey
  • bate some expected gain for the risk you save, and say what is your price.'

  • bate Wood had raised a warning hand to Kells, who stood up, facing the door.

    The Border Legion Zane Grey
  • Do you think that I could be bate without allowing myself to be bate?

    Lavengro George Borrow
  • Gen. bate rode up to our line and asked, "What command is this?"

    Under the Stars and Bars Walter A. Clark
  • A culprit in the pillory (bate the eggs) meets with no severer exprobation.

  • "Red an' Gul are sleepin' off last night's luck," said bate Wood.

    The Border Legion Zane Grey
  • Mother of God, look at me tin plate that he bate me with, it is all crumbled in.

    The Flying Bo'sun Arthur Mason
  • Tell me dis minute just what you gotter do, an I bate yo ten dollars I cn do it.

    Three Little Women Gabrielle E. Jackson
  • Your father is to come to me, not I to him; nor yet to your fort: neither will I bite at such a bate.

    The Birth of the Nation Mrs. Roger A. Pryor
British Dictionary definitions for bate

bate1

/beɪt/
verb
1.
another word for abate
2.
with bated breath, holding one's breath in suspense or fear

bate2

/beɪt/
verb
1.
(intransitive) (of hawks) to jump violently from a perch or the falconer's fist, often hanging from the leash while struggling to escape
Word Origin
C13: from Old French batre to beat, from Latin battuere; related to bat1

bate3

/beɪt/
verb (transitive)
1.
to soak (skin or hides) in a special solution to soften them and remove chemicals used in previous treatments
noun
2.
the solution used
Word Origin
Old English bǣtan to bait1

bate4

/beɪt/
noun
1.
(Brit, slang) a bad temper or rage
Word Origin
C19: from bait1, alluding to the mood of a person who is being baited
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
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Word Origin and History for bate
v.

"to reduce, to lessen in intensity," c.1300, shortening of abate (q.v.). Now only in phrase bated breath, which was used by Shakespeare in "The Merchant of Venice" (1596).

c.1300, "to contend with blows or arguments," from Old French batre "to hit, beat, strike," from Late Latin battere, from Latin batuere "to beat, knock" (see batter (v.)). In falconry, "to beat the wings impatiently and flutter away from the perch." Figurative sense of "to flutter downward" attested from 1580s.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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