Middle English Dictionary Entry

baiten v.
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Entry Info

Definitions (Senses and Subsenses)

(a) To bait (an animal) with an attacking or herding dog; specif., to bait (a tied or confined bear, bull, or badger) in sport; (b) of a dog: to set on (an animal or person); perh. [quot.: a1375] to set (a dog) on (an animal); (c) to drive (sb.) away with attacking dogs.
(a) To harass, torment, or persecute (sb.); (b) to incite (sb.).
(a) To put (a horse or other beast of burden) to feed or graze; (b) of a horse: to graze; (c) of a dog: to take drink; (d) to fatten (an animal) for slaughter.
(a) To partake of food, eat; (b) to feast (the eye); of the eye: to feast (on sth.).
To stop to feed one's horses and to eat.
To bait (a fishing line or hook).

Supplemental Materials (draft)

  • c1450 ?C.d'Orl.Poems (Hrl 682)59/1730 : Thus baytith he [my heart] to he be so forfought That…he fayntith in his fight.
  • Note: New sense: 2.(c) ?to be harassed
  • c1460(a1449) Lydg.Cock (Hrl 2255)126 : Brechelees beerys be betyn on the bare.
  • Note: New spelling. Presumably sense 1.(a).