late 14c., "something which allures or entices," from Anglo-Fr. lure, from O.Fr. loirre "device used to recall hawks, lure," from Frank. *loþr, from P.Gmc. *lothran "to call" (cf. M.H.G. luoder, M.L.G. loder "lure, bait," Ger. Luder "lure, deceit, bait," O.E. laþian "to call, invite"). Originally a bunch of feathers on a long cord, from which the hawk is fed during its training. Used of means of alluring other animals (especially fish) from c.1700. Technically, bait is something the animal can eat; lure is a more general term. The verb is from late 14c., of hawks, later of persons. Related: Lured; luring.