nouninformal, dated British in singular
An angry mood.
bad mood, annoyance, irritation, vexation, exasperation, indignation, huff, moodiness, pet, pique, fit of pique, displeasure
- ‘he got into a stinking bate’
- ‘Shrieking with simulated frustration, Clarkson flew into a bate, picked up a hammer and smashed his desktop to smithereens.’
- ‘Rusty gets into a bate if left indoors for too long, and the last time his owner disappeared for a session in the pub, he opened a cupboard and ate three packs of biscuits, and chewed the sofa right down to the wood.’
- ‘On the other hand, when you hear of a plan to build a much-needed rail link under your London studios, you fly into a bate and object in writing.’
Mid 19th century from the verb bait‘torment’, expressing the notion ‘state of a baited person’.
(of a hawk) beat the wings in agitation and flutter off the perch.‘the hawks bated and immediately the breeze got in their feathers’
- ‘And if your hawk bates, that's flies off the fist in a temper, you're going to need that hand to help her back on again.’
- ‘Its eyes glowed golden, and the hawk bated suddenly.’
- ‘When the hawk bated, the volunteer explained that he was mad and provided passive resistance.’
Late Middle English from Old French batre ‘to beat’ (see also batter).
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