take the bait

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take the bait

To respond to someone's actions or words in the way that they intended. Likened to a fish attempting to eat the bait on a hook. That's just what he wants you to do. Don't take the bait. The undercover officer changed the conversation to the recent burglary, hoping the thief would take the bait and confess.
See also: bait, take
References in periodicals archive ?
I was very proud of Andy McLaren, who showed his class by not taking the bait their manager and players laid out for him.
It will improve the caregiving process and prevent families from taking the bait of lawyers trolling for settlements.
Hamilton, with the quiet dignity of a champ, is not taking the bait from either man.
They also found that consumers taking the bait of deceptive offerings through e-mails and Websites lost, on average, $412 in 2000, up from $310 in 1999.
I applaud them for taking the bait and returning my fire, but their comments betray the main point I was making; namely that a small vociferous minority see anything that does not fit in with their ideas as hostile.
Despite her best cleavage-baring efforts, the men just aren't taking the bait.
And it's often the larger specimens - those which for some reason (line or boat shy, less aggressive, more wary) aren't fooled by conventional applications - that wind up taking the bait.
McLeish said: "Our players have got to have the maturity not to be taking the bait if Robbie is up to his mind games.
Unfortunately Clarkson ain't taking the bait announcing that he's never hit anyone.
The carefully orchestrated photos are also apparently designed to wind up ex Guy Ritchie - although he is not taking the bait.
TAKING THE BAIT The opportunist break-in; CAMERA DOESN'T LIE Evans' identity is clearly on parade
But Walker, the most out-of-control rear-wheel sliding rider in both the World and British championships, wasn't taking the bait.