The words baited and bated are two terms that sound alike but have very different meanings. What adds up to the confusion is that their spellings are only separated by a single “i” in baited. This post will help you identify the differences between these two so you will be able to tell them apart and use them properly in your writing.
The word baited is most commonly used as the past tense of the verb bait which means “to lure or entice.”
Dr. Phil Show Denies Claims That Guests Were Baited with Drugs and Alcohol to Boost Ratings
Formula One: Lewis Hamilton may have baited the media and succeeded
Beyond the Flag
Burlington homeowner baited porch pirate using fake package with dirty diaper
However, it may also mean “to persecute or exasperate with unjust, malicious, or persistent attacks,” “to try to make angry with criticism or insults,” or “to deliberately annoy or taunt someone.”
The letter’s “concerned parents” claimed their children had been “disrespected, interrogated, called liars, been baited, bullied and publicly humiliated.”
Port Townsend Leader
On the other hand, the term bated is used as an adjective meaning “in great suspense; very anxiously or excitedly.” It is most commonly used in the phrase with bated breath which means “with breath drawn in or held because of anticipation or suspense.”
Prestige at stake in Himachal: BJP, Congress await result with bated breath
Gujarat election: As Team Modi waits for results with bated breath, so does… China
Saif Ali Khan awaits Kaalakaandi release with bated breath
Celebs and Cinema
Now that we’ve discussed the difference between the uses and meanings of baited and bated, you should be able to use them properly in your sentences. Remember that baited is about luring something or somebody while bated is about excitement and anxiety.