- bait [bāt]vt.[ME baiten < ON beita < Gmc * baitian, caus. of * bitan: for base see BITE]1.a) to set attacking dogs against [people formerly baited chained bears for sport]b) to attack as such dogs do2. to torment or harass with unprovoked, vicious, repeated attacks3. to tease or goad, esp. so as to provoke a reaction4. to put food, etc. on (a hook or trap) to lure animals or fish5. to lure; tempt; entice6. Archaic to feed (animals) during a break in a journeyvi.Archaic to stop for food during a journeyn.[ON beita, lure, fish bait]1. food, etc. put on a hook or trap to lure fish or animals2. anything used as a lure; enticement☆ 3. Dial. a large amount [we wolfed down a bait of huckleberries]4. Archaic a stop for rest or food during a journeybaitern.SYN.- to BAIT is to harass or goad and implies that the persecutor gets malicious pleasure from the act; to BADGER is to pester so persistently as to bring to a state of frantic confusion; to HOUND1 is to pursue or attack relentlessly until the victim succumbs [he was hounded out of office ]; HECKLE denotes the persistent questioning and taunting of a public speaker so as to annoy or confuse him or her; HECTOR implies a continual bullying or nagging in order to intimidate or break down resistance; TORMENT, in this comparison, suggests continued harassment so as to cause acute suffering [tormented by her memories ]; RIDE is colloquial and implies harassment or teasing by ridiculing, criticizing, etc. [they were riding the rookie unmercifully from the dugout ]
English World dictionary. V. Neufeldt. 2014.