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Baited vs. Bated

Updated Jan 31, 2023

What are the differences between baited and bated?

The words "baited" and "bated" are both past tense forms of the verb "bate," which is an old word meaning "to reduce or restrain."

Baited means "to have set a bait for," as in "The hunter baited the trap to catch the animal."

Bated means "to have held back," as in "The crowd held their breath in anticipation, bated with excitement."

Why do people commonly confuse baited and bated?

People commonly confuse baited and bated because they sound very similar when spoken. Additionally, both words have multiple meanings, which can further add to the confusion. Baited is an adjective that means “set with a bait” or “tempted.” Bated is an adjective that means “held back” or “diminished.”

What are some ways to make sure you don't confuse baited and bated?

  1. Make a note to yourself about the difference between baited and bated.
  2. Use mnemonic devices to help you remember. For example, "Baited is like ‘baiting’ a hook with bait, while bated is like ‘bating’ your breath in anticipation."
  3. Read your sentences out loud and make sure you are using the correct word.
  4. Look up the definitions of both words before you start writing.
  5. Use the words in context and practice writing sentences with them.
  6. If you are still unsure, consult a dictionary or a grammar guide.

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