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[bleet] /blit/
verb (used without object)
to utter the cry of a sheep, goat, or calf or a sound resembling such a cry.
verb (used with object)
to give forth with or as if with a bleat:
He bleated his objections in a helpless rage.
to babble; prate.
the cry of a sheep, goat, or calf.
any similar sound:
the bleat of distant horns.
foolish, complaining talk; babble:
I listened to their inane bleat all evening.
Origin of bleat
before 1000; Middle English bleten, Old English blǣtan; cognate with Dutch blaten, Old High German blāzen; akin to Latin flēre to weep
Related forms
bleater, noun
bleatingly, adverb
outbleat, verb (used with object) Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for bleat
  • Their call is described as a nasal w-a-a-a-a-a-h, similar to the bleat of a sheep, that lasts about one to two and a half seconds.
  • In restaurants, the beep, chirp and bleat of cell phones has become so annoying that some have begun posting signs banning them.
  • Such companies frequently bleat that personal data is secure and inviolable.
  • Here are eight potential products coming soon from bioreactors that bloom, moo, and bleat.
  • They bleat forlornly of their need for more money and more power to solve a nonexistent problem.
  • And the lambs, where appropriate, can bleat their last.
  • Every line has a strained flourish, an earnest bleat of emotion.
  • Even in the lyrical tomb scene he tended to bleat and sing without expression.
  • But the bleat of her voice left her somehow less there herself.
  • The shrill bleat of smoke detectors and the shrieks of people in the house awakened neighbors on the quiet street.
British Dictionary definitions for bleat


(intransitive) (of a sheep, goat, or calf) to utter its characteristic plaintive cry
(intransitive) to speak with any similar sound
to whine; whimper
the characteristic cry of sheep, goats, and young calves
any sound similar to this
a weak complaint or whine
Derived Forms
bleater, noun
bleating, noun, adjective
Word Origin
Old English blǣtan; related to Old High German blāzen, Dutch blaten, Latin flēre to weep; see blare
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 bleat

Old English blætan, from West Germanic *bhle- (cf. Dutch blaten "to bleat"), of imitative origin (cf. Greek blekhe "a bleating; the wailing of children," Old Church Slavonic blejat "to bleat," Latin flere "to weep"). Related: Bleated; bleating.


c.1500, from bleat (v.).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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