with bated breath

(redirected from bate)
Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Medical, Legal, Acronyms, Encyclopedia, Wikipedia.

with bated breath

Cliché while holding one's breath. We stood there with bated breath while the man hung on the side of the bridge. They listened with bated breath for the announcement about the winner.
See also: breath

with bated breath

Eagerly or anxiously, as in We waited for the announcement of the winner with bated breath. This expression literally means "holding one's breath" ( bate means "restrain"). Today it is also used somewhat ironically, indicating one is not all that eager or anxious. [Late 1500s] Also see hold one's breath, def. 2.
See also: breath

with bated breath

COMMON If you wait for something with bated breath, you wait in an anxious or excited way to see what happens next. Flora and I waited with bated breath to hear what Evelyn considered sensible. They got the people in the villages interested in what was going to happen, so they were then watching with bated breath as the experiment began. Note: `Bate' is an old form of `abate', which in this context means `control' or `hold back'.
See also: breath

with bated breath

in great suspense; very anxiously or excitedly.
Baited , which is sometimes seen, is a misspelling, since bated in this sense is a shortened form of abated , the idea being that your breathing is lessened under the influence of extreme suspense.
See also: breath

with ˌbated ˈbreath

hardly able to breathe because you are very anxious about something: We watched with bated breath as the lion moved slowly towards him.
See also: breath
References in periodicals archive ?
Bates, the Liberal Democrat AM for Montgomeryshire, denies three counts of common assault "by beating" and public order breaches.
Claire Jones, defending, said Bates had now admitted the attack.
Bates was one of the key figures behind the FA's two-fingered salute to fans that saw pounds 5 added to virtually every Cup Final ticket - some rises are a massive 25 per cent.
In addition, Bates is steering ASHS in a new direction toward the gamma knife, which treats certain vascular malformations and intracranial tumors without surgery.
Bradley's been missing," Norman is heard saying in a Bates Motel 02x02 promo video.
Kenyon and Bates have clashed at Premier League meetings and it is understood that Kenyon is certain to represent Chelsea at future meetings.
An outstanding defensive back, Bates was also a Northeast-10 first team All-Conference selection for the second year in a row.
Bates said he was anxious that his client start his sentence because he gets less credit in county jail than he would in state prison for the time he has served.
He is survived by his childhood sweetheart and wife of 60 years, Nancy Jane Allen Bates of Berlin.
Kathy Bates is stretched out on a sofa in the den of her gracious 1920s Los Angeles home.
Bates Motel" Season 2 finale spoilers point to a sense of awakening for Norman Bates (Freddie Highmore).
John Bates, a trusted and close confidant of Lord Grantham, 51, was in engulfed in an acrimonious separation from his unfortunate spouse Vera when she passed away after apparently ingesting rat poison.
Bates said there are "certain tendencies" in the debate which make him pessimistic about the communion's future.
The wheelchair-reliant Bates deserves to work as an assistant state attorney.