: something (such as a piece of food) that is used to attract fish or animals so they can be caught [noncount] ▪ We always use live bait [=worms that are alive] when we fish. ▪ cheese used for/as bait in mousetraps ▪ Wait until the fish takes the bait. [count] ▪ a wide selection of lures and baits — often used figuratively ▪ using bargains as bait for shoppers [=using bargains to attract shoppers] ▪ The police waited for the bank robbers to take the bait. [=to be tricked into doing the thing that would cause them to be trapped or caught] ▪ (chiefly Brit) The interviewer kept asking the politician whether he was lying, and he rose to the bait by getting angry.
fish or cut bait — see 2fish