swallow the bait

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swallow 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 swallow the bait. The undercover officer changed the conversation to the recent burglary, hoping the thief would swallow the bait and confess.
See also: bait, swallow

swallow the ˈbait

(informal) accept an offer, etc. which has been made or prepared specially by somebody in order to get you to do something: When people read the words ‘Free Gift’ on a magazine they usually swallow the bait and buy it.
A fisherman uses bait to attract fish to his hook.
See also: bait, swallow
References in periodicals archive ?
Meanwhile, the opposition played into Jubilee's hands when rookie legislators swallowed the bait and drove headstrong into cannibalising itself over who was and who wasn't in Uhuru Park.
In fact, the switch began even before the marks swallowed the bait.
Unfortunately some people have swallowed the bait and the likes of Clegg and Farron are knocking at the knees wanting to be a member of a club that can't tell the difference between 20 billion and 60 billion, or is it 100 billion?
The simple barber swallowed the bait and asked the quack to teach him.
America swallowed the bait and Pakistan's policymakers, including the army, politicians and bureaucrats, whom the author calls the elite," went berserk to capitalize on this advantage.
In reporting the resulting row, you may well argue that the Sunday Mercury has swallowed the bait.
Attempts to unhook a fish that has swallowed the bait, however, if not carried out very delicately with long forceps, can result in bleeding and the death of a fish, which should have been allowed to swim free and spawn.
The seal swallowed the bait and had the hooks lodged in her mouth.
And it seems that the United States has once again swallowed the bait.
Best swallowed the bait, launched himself at the first ball and was stumped, cuing hilarity all round.
Instead, we have swallowed the bait of a series of low-ball estimates, and are now held hostage by a project that is "too big to cancel.
The BDI, by consciously demolishing the provocative improvisation, consciously swallowed the bait to send the message: you cannot build anything that we have not agreed upon together.
R swallowed the bait, and instead of reaping the fruits of victory and dedicate its efforts to enhance the well-being of its citizens, the former Soviet Union concentrated its efforts in the arm race, dragged in a long Cold War in a vain attempt to split the world with the U.
Therefore, this is no revolutionary invention but the opposition threw the fishhook and the Government consciously swallowed the bait.
She was surprised but swallowed the bait - I knew she wouldn't be able to finish it so I would be free to pick at the steak while enjoying a totally contrasting dish.