bay5 /beɪ/


I. verb [no obj.]

1. (of a dog, especially a large one) bark or howl loudly.

the dogs bayed.
a jackal baying at the moon.
2. (of a group of people) shout loudly, typically to demand something

the crowd bayed for an encore.
3. [with obj.]
‹archaic› bay at

a pack of wolves baying the moon.
II. noun [in sing.]

1. the sound of baying.

the bloodhounds’ heavy bay.
III. phrases

1. at bay
forced to face or confront one’s attackers or pursuers; cornered.

he felt at bay, like a very dim minister facing a hostile House.
2. bay for blood
demand punishment or retribution.

the press is baying for blood.
3. bring someone/thing to bay
trap or corner a person or animal being hunted or chased

the Athenians were brought to bay between the streams.
4. hold (or keep) someone/thing at bay
prevent someone or something from approaching or having an effect.

drugs were keeping severe pain at bay.
5. stand at bay
turn to face one’s pursuers

she will be doomed to stand at bay.
– origin Middle English (as a noun): from Old French ( a)bai (noun), ( a)baiier (verb) ‘to bark’, of imitative origin.

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