People who go fishing aren’t the only ones to use bait. When you hold a yard sale, place your best stuff closest to the sidewalk — to serve as bait. Bait can be anything from the worms that hide a hook to a stereo that tempts shoppers to stop and browse.

Bait can also mean the act of getting someone or something to do what you want. For generations, students have baited their teachers into wasting class time with a question about a personal interest or obsession: “This talk about integers is very fascinating, Mr. Green, but what do you think about last night’s Penguins game?” Bait comes from the Old Norse, word beita — “to cause to bite.” Asking Mr. Green what other Viking words he knows might be interesting, and provide bait for his next off-topic musing.

Primary Meanings of bait

something used to lure fish or other animals into danger so they can be trapped or killed
lure, entice, or entrap with bait
attack with dogs or set dogs upon
Full Definitions of bait

n something used to lure fish or other animals into danger so they can be trapped or killed

decoy, lure
show 8 types...
hide 8 types...
bait consisting of chopped fish and fish oils that are dumped overboard to attract fish
fish lure, fisherman's lure
(angling) any bright artificial bait consisting of plastic or metal mounted with hooks and trimmed with feathers
ground bait
bait scattered on the water to attract fish
stool pigeon
a dummy pigeon used to decoy others
fisherman's lure consisting of a fishhook decorated to look like an insect
a fisherman's lure with one or more hooks that is jerked up and down in the water
fisherman's lure; revolves when drawn through the water
a fisherman's lure that is used in trolling
Type of:
an instrumentality invented for a particular purpose

n anything that serves as an enticement

come-on, hook, lure, sweetener
Type of:
enticement, temptation
something that seduces or has the quality to seduce

v lure, entice, or entrap with bait

Type of:
entice, lure, tempt
provoke someone to do something through (often false or exaggerated) promises or persuasion

v attack with dogs or set dogs upon

Type of:
assail, assault, attack, set on
attack someone physically or emotionally

v harass with persistent criticism or carping

cod, rag, rally, razz, ride, tantalise, tantalize, taunt, tease, twit
barrack, flout, gibe, jeer, scoff
laugh at with contempt and derision
banter, chaff, jolly, josh, kid
be silly or tease one another
Type of:
bemock, mock
treat with contempt

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