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 classic literature ?
Well, he had taken the bait, the newspaper lies about writers and their pay, and he had wasted two years over it.
Calvin hasn't taken the bait and has declined to comment - so far.
Had he taken the bait, as others did, he would have inadvertently installed spy software that would track his Web habits, barrage him with pop-up ads, and trigger a virus to resend the invitation to everyone on his buddy list.
Fishing with fresh mackerel, he endured a long muscle-aching battle before the monster ling which had taken the bait was hauled aboard and weighed at an incredible 40lb 8oz.
Edwards has never taken the bait scattered upon the waters by the likes of Idowu, preferring, from his perch at the pinnacle of world athletics, to distribute words of wisdom.
So far only Tele-Communications Inc has taken the bait.
As far as Withers knows, no one's ever, um, taken the bait.
Donald realises his young wife has taken the bait all too readily.