bait Definition

  • 1food or some other lure used to entice fish or other animals as prey
  • 2something used to entice or tempt a person into a trap

Using bait: Examples

Take a moment to familiarize yourself with how "bait" can be used in various situations through the following examples!

  • Example

    The fisherman put a worm on his hook as bait.

  • Example

    The thief used a diamond necklace as bait to lure the victim.

  • Example

    The company offered a free trial as bait to attract new customers.

  • Example

    The kidnappers used the victim's dog as bait to lure him out of his house.

bait Synonyms and Antonyms

Antonyms for bait

Idioms Using bait

  • something that is intended to divert attention from the real problem or matter at hand


    The argument about the budget was just a red herring to distract us from the real issue.

  • to be tricked or deceived by someone or something


    I knew it was a scam, but I took the bait anyway and lost all my money.

  • to be tricked or deceived by someone or something


    He thought he had won the lottery, but he had actually swallowed the bait of a scam artist.

Phrases with bait

  • to react to something in the way that was intended by the person who did it


    He tried to make me angry, but I didn't rise to the bait.

  • fish for compliments

    to try to get people to say nice things about you


    She's always fishing for compliments about her appearance.

  • to divert someone's attention away from what they are looking for


    He tried to throw the police off the scent by giving them false information.

Origins of bait

from Old Norse 'beit', meaning 'pasture' or 'food'


Summary: bait in Brief

The term 'bait' [beɪt] refers to food or other lures used to entice animals as prey or to entice people into traps. Examples include using worms as bait for fishing or offering a free trial as bait to attract new customers. Idioms like 'to take the bait' and 'to swallow the bait' denote being tricked or deceived, while 'fish for compliments' means to seek praise.

How do native speakers use this expression?