Question by  Jane5146 (60)

What does it mean to be "waiting with baited breath"?


Answer by  soundoff (121)

Kriket's right! it is bated and it is short for abated. Shakespeare, It seems to me, first coined "bated breath" to make it fit into a verse, but I can't remember in which play. If you'll look it up, I'll wait with bated breath. Baited breath? You've been eating anchovies.


Answer by  Kriket (1029)

The expression is "Waiting with bated breath" bated is short for abated, which means held back. Or holding your breath.


Answer by  npatin44 (258)

Generally speaking, "waiting with baited breath" means to have someone's rapt attention as they wait in anticipation of a comment, response or action by someone else. It's suggestive of having them on a fishing line and hook and they are waiting to be reeled in by whoever is holding the rod.

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