verb (used without object)
- to utter the cry of a sheep, goat, or calf or a sound resembling such a cry.
verb (used with object)
- to give forth with or as if with a bleat: He bleated his objections in a helpless rage.
- to babble; prate.
- the cry of a sheep, goat, or calf.
- any similar sound: the bleat of distant horns.
- foolish, complaining talk; babble: I listened to their inane bleat all evening.
- (intr) (of a sheep, goat, or calf) to utter its characteristic plaintive cry
- (intr) to speak with any similar sound
- to whine; whimper
- the characteristic cry of sheep, goats, and young calves
- any sound similar to this
- a weak complaint or whine
Old English blætan, from West Germanic *bhle- (cf. Dutch blaten “to bleat”), of imitative origin (cf. Greek blekhe “a bleating; the wailing of children,” Old Church Slavonic blejat “to bleat,” Latin flere “to weep”). Related: Bleated; bleating.
c.1500, from bleat (v.).