rise to the bait

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rise to the bait

To respond to someone's provoking 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 rise to the bait. The undercover officer changed the conversation to the recent burglary, hoping the thief would rise to the bait and confess. Promise John some free drinks, and he'll rise to the bait every time.
See also: bait, rise
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

rise to the bait

Fig. to respond to an allurement; to fall for an enticement or fall into a trap. (Alludes to a fish coming up from deep water to seize bait.) You can get him here easily. Tell him that there will be lots of food and he will rise to the bait. He rose to the bait and did just as he was expected to do.
See also: bait, rise
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

rise to the bait

Be tempted by or react to an enticement, as in We told him there'd be lots of single young women at the party, and he rose to the bait . Likening a fish rising to bait to human behavior dates from the late 1500s.
See also: bait, rise
The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer. Copyright © 2003, 1997 by The Christine Ammer 1992 Trust. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

rise to the bait

or

take the bait

If you rise to the bait or take the bait, you react to something that someone has said or done in exactly the way that they wanted you to react. Adrina tried to provoke me, but I refused to rise to the bait. Julia told him that she had fallen off a horse as a child and lost her confidence. Hewitt immediately took the bait, offering to teach her to ride. Note: In fly-fishing, the fish rise to the surface of the water to take the bait, and so they get caught.
See also: bait, rise
Collins COBUILD Idioms Dictionary, 3rd ed. © HarperCollins Publishers 2012

rise to the bait

react to a provocation or temptation exactly as intended.
The image here is of a fish coming to the surface to take a bait or fly.
1966 Listener I should perhaps apologise for having risen to the bait of Mr Wilkinson's provocative letter.
See also: bait, rise
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017

rise to the ˈbait

act or react to something in exactly the way another person wants you to: I knew he was trying to get me angry, but I didn’t rise to the bait.
A fisherman uses bait to attract fish to his hook.
See also: bait, rise
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017
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References in periodicals archive ?
Rising to the bait, Villa fans ripped up plastic seats and threw them on to the pitch before returning two flares launched at them by City supporters assembled provocatively in front of them.
But at 25, the Warwickshire all-rounder is mature enough to resist rising to the bait - focusing his attention instead on improving his cricketing skills, particularly when it comes to disguising and perfecting his 'other' ball.
You may feel angry but avoid rising to the bait. Let the situation blow over until she cools down.
How naive are you at 33 to not realise that rising to the bait guarantees the stick will be even worse?
He's not upset, she is, and she'd be better off not rising to the bait.
Stump microphones picked up joker Freddie telling Best: "Better look out for the broken windows." Rising to the bait, Best decided he was going down with all guns glazing, charged down the pitch (left)...
Dwayne Smith pulled him for a huge six, but Harmy's next ball was another bouncer which hurried on to the batsman and Smith, rising to the bait, miscued to Nasser Hussain.