with bated breath

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with bated breath

Eagerly. The phrase suggests that one is breathing shallowly in anticipation of something. I've been waiting with bated breath to hear back from my first-choice school.
See also: breath

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 ?
I've learned lessons I couldn't learn on my own or as I continue to job as a professional," says Bates.
For several weeks, Bates had worn a wrap around her arm to control the swelling, until her doctor told her she no longer needed it.
And he said Bates, who he told the court he had known for up to three years, shouted while he was in hospital.
He said Bates seemed intoxicated and unco-operative and would not sit still on a trolley.
Bates, the AM for Montgomeryshire, denies assault and public order offences.
The Falcons chairman removed Bates after another season that drifted into a relegation battle, despite preseason Heineken Cup qualification goals.
When police arrived and arrested Bates, who had two previous convictions for robbery, they found a black-handled claw hammer.
There had also been occasions when Bates had placed a knife against her boyfriend and threatened that if he ever left her she would "kill him".
Bates has to be judged against the standards and practices of her own time, that exciting and clamorous early dawn of anthropology when an academically unqualified middle-aged woman dared to enter the all-male intellectual fray.
Braidy Bates immediately formed a smile, and her voice perked up as she described her first sports memory.
The sprawling campus of Bates College is in full bloom during Maine's adventurous summer dance festival.
Ariel Preferred Retail Group announced the appointment of Lisa Bates as director of marketing.
Having failed to have their way on other controversial issues, conservatives and evangelicals have rallied around the homosexual issue and are determined to win the ongoing battle for the "soul of Anglicanism," says journalist and author Stephen Bates.
The wheelchair-reliant Bates deserves to work as an assistant state attorney.
The big question at College of the Canyons these days: Will high-profile football prospect Wallace Bates decide to go out for the team?